CEDAR RAPIDS – The Cedar Rapids Jefferson Band of Blue rose to their feet with just seconds to play.
Down 14-10 with 30 seconds remaining, the Band of Blue trumpeted on the J-Hawks, just 29 yards away from a touchdown.
Moments later, the band and crowd went silent, as Cedar Falls’ Seb Gearhart picked off Noah Vawtner in the end zone to seal a 14-10 Tigers win.
“Seb just made a great play, and we really needed one,” Cedar Falls Coach Brad Remmert said.
Big plays defined the low-scoring affair at Kingston. Cedar Falls’ Hayden Clausen looked to seal the game for Cedar Falls with a run around the end with 1:36 to play. But Jefferson stripped the ball and a team of J-Hawks pounced on the ball, giving Jefferson another shot to score.
“We thought we had things going there,” Remmert said. “Then we turned it over at the end, which you just can’t do.”
Though Clausen had the late fumble, the senior rumbled for 156 yards on 32 carries. He added an early score in the second half, which proved vital for the Tigers.
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“Both sides fought hard,” Remmert said. “We’ve got to get better and capitalize when we are down in the red zone.”
Jefferson had trouble taking advantage of the Clausen fumble late in the game. A pair of incomplete passes and a stuffed running play put the J-Hawks in a fourth-down situation. A pass interference call on fourth down kept the drive going for Jefferson. Tavian Rashed surged into Tiger territory for a first down on the next play.
“The effort from this team was just fantastic today,” Jefferson Coach Brian Webb said. “If we would have had the same effort we had today, the rest of the season might have been different.”