Soooo Close

Late rally by Golden Hawks falls short in season opener

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 9/2/20

Mid-Prairie’s football team kicked into gear at about 8:30 this past Friday night.

Senior running back Kayden Reinier plowed through Sigourney Keota for a game-high 134 yards and two …

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Soooo Close

Late rally by Golden Hawks falls short in season opener

Posted

Mid-Prairie’s football team kicked into gear at about 8:30 this past Friday night.

Senior running back Kayden Reinier plowed through Sigourney Keota for a game-high 134 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Vinnie Bowlin passed for a game-high 238 yards and a TD.

The problem was, the Golden Hawks were late for the show.

By the time the Hawks blasted through the opposition in dominating fashion, they were already down by three touchdowns. Mid-Prairie’s band had already rocked the season-opening home crowd with two hits from Chicago the rock band’s repertoire.

“We were flat. Dazed look in our eyes,” M-P head coach Pete Cavanagh said following the 27-21 loss. “We just did not come out well.”

And still, the Golden Hawks almost pulled out a victory in the final seconds against a Sigourney Keota squad that is ranked No. 9 in Class 1A. On third down at the M-P 49-yard line, Bowlin heaved a long pass toward the end zone and sophomore receiver Cain Brown.

Brown and Sigourney Keota’s Brady Duwa went up for the ball, and Duwa  won the battle. Brown laid on the ground holding his head in frustration as Sigourney Keota players celebrated a couple of feet away.

Game over.

It was almost a replay of what ended the first half when the Golden Hawks drove down the field quickly only to have a pass receiver taken down just inches short of the goal line as time ran out.

“Game of inches,” said Cavanagh, who queried the officials after the spot was short of a TD. “It is what it is.”

The dramatic loss sets up a second important nonconference game for the Golden Hawks this Friday. They host Iowa City Regina, which opened its season last week with a 45-13 loss to Pleasant Valley.

“We’ve got to lick our wounds and get back after it because next week’s opponent is going to be really good,” Cavanagh said.

The Hawks were shut out in the first half by Sigourney Keota despite moving the ball to the Sigourney Keota 9-yard line on their first possession and coming away scoreless. A seven-point deficit quickly grew worse early in the third quarter when Sigourney Keota’s Duwa returned the second half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and then the Cobras took advantage of an interception to set up another touchdown by Duwa.

“We had way too many mistakes,” Cavanagh said. “We dug ourselves a hole. It’s hard to beat anybody when you’re down 21 to nothing. Too many mistakes at crucial times. It’s all the coaches, players. We need to make sure that we’re playing to the level we need to play, and I just don’t think we did that.”

Until the last quarter and a half.

The wakeup call arrived with that last Cobra touchdown, and then the Hawks went to work.

Reinier scored the first of his two touchdowns with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

A 30-yard scoring run by Sigourney Keota’s Cade Molyneux put the Cobras back on top, 27-7, but then the Hawks stormed back. Keegan Gingerich, who caught a game-high six passes for 118 yards, hooked up with Bowlin on a 61-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-14. Then, with 6:51 left, Reinier ran 43 yards for a score.

“They showed their size and strength, and kind of imposed their will on us there,” said Sigourney Keota head coach Jared Jensen. “I take a little bit of fault for trying to burn the clock with 10 minutes to go in the half.”

The Golden Hawks got the ball one last time at their own 38-yard line with 1:43 remaining. Two running plays by Reinier for 14 yards and an eight-yard pass play to Brown moved Mid-Prairie to the Sigourney Keota 36, but a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct pushed the Hawks back to their own 49.

On third down, Bowlin went for the win.

It nearly happened.

“Vinnie gutted it out,” Cavanagh said. “I thought he did a nice job.”

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