Newell Fonda’s late comeback attempt fell short in their 29-21 loss to WACO in the Eight-Player state semifinals on Wednesday afternoon at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
WACO built an 11-0 lead before the Mustangs got on the board with 5:42 left in the 1st half. A four-play 65 yard touchdown drive ended with a 22 yard touchdown pass from Mason Dicks to Wyatt Kreft, and Pedro Patricio’s point after made the score 11-7, which held up at halftime.
Newell Fonda took their first lead of the game as they marched ten plays, 59 yards in 4:39. Ryan Greenfield’s two yard touchdown run put the Mustangs up 14-11. The touchdown was set up by a 4th and 8 completion of 22 yards from Mason to Kreft, and Greenfield scored on the next play. The Mustangs lead was short lived, as the Warriors scored on a seven play 65 yard drive on the next series on a 22 yard run by Simeon Reichenbach.
Newell Fonda went three and out on the next series. The Mustangs punt was blocked, which set up WACO at the Mustangs seven yard line, and that led to a 23 yard field goal to increase the lead to 19-14 late in the 3rd quarter.
Newell Fonda’s next two drives ended in punts, while WACO’s next two possessions ended in missed field goals. WACO intercepted a pass at the Mustangs 19, and Reichenbach ran for a touchdown on the following play to put WACO’s lead at 29-14 with four minutes left. Newell Fonda didn’t quit, and went four plays and 64 yards in 46 seconds. Dicks threw a 44 yard touchdown to Greenfield to pull the Mustangs within 29-21. Newell Fonda’s defense rose up and got a three and out, and a punt gave Newell Fonda the ball at their 11 yard line with 2:46 remaining. The Mustangs opening two plays on the drive resulted in completions of 16 and nine yards to Greenfield. A holding penalty, followed by a sack and six-yard completion to Kreft set up 4th and 17 from the Mustangs 20 yard line, and a sack gave the ball back to WACO, as they took three kneel downs to run out the clock.
Newell Fonda had a 4:30 advantage in time of possession, and had 332 yards of offense compared to WACO’s 309. WACO however got the game’s only takeaway and the blocked punt, and had eight sacks defensively, while Newell Fonda had none. Dick’s completed 17 of 28 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. Greenfield caught nine passes for 156 and a touchdown, and Kreft had five receptions for 73 and a touchdown. Max Carlson led the Mustangs with 8.5 tackles.
Comments from coach Brian Wilken can be heard below, as Newell Fonda’s season concludes at 10-2, and they say goodbye to 11 seniors. WACO stays perfect at 13-0, and will play Remsen St. Mary’s next Thursday morning, November 17th at 9:30 for the championship. RSM defeated Lenox 42-20 in the other semifinal.
(photo courtesy of Scott Kilbride)