Prep Football

Late field goal gives Dubuque Hempstead a 16-14 win over Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Mustangs win for first time in 4 games after J-Hawks miss 54-yard field goal

Dubuque Hempstead’s Jalen Smith (13) and Elijah Herrion (1) celebrate a touchdown during a high school football game earlier this season. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Dubuque Hempstead’s Jalen Smith (13) and Elijah Herrion (1) celebrate a touchdown during a high school football game earlier this season. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — After losing its last three games by a combined 13 points, Dubuque Hempstead was due for some good fortune.

The Mustangs created some of their own.

Hempstead junior placekicker Ben Jaeger converted a 25-yard field goal with 2:53 left in the game, and his defensive mates made sure it held up as the Mustangs edged Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 16-14, in a Class 4A District 3 prep football game Friday night at Kingston Stadium.

“It is about talking in the locker room about being battle tested,” Hempstead interim head coach Brian Kuhle said. “We have had three straight weeks against tough opponents and we scratched and clawed and fought. I would like to think that sharpened us up a little bit, coming down into those moments. So hopefully we took something from those losses before.”

Hempstead (3-5, 1-3 District 3) appeared to be in control for much of the game. First-half touchdown passes of 20 and 3 yards from junior quarterback Aidan Dunne to senior receiver KeShaun Hill gave the Mustangs a 13-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, both senior defensive back Derik Bunten and senior linebacker Kenneth Moore intercepted passes for Jefferson, which the J-Hawks offense turned into touchdowns. A 1-yard run by senior tailback Ezeki Leggins got Jefferson on the scoreboard with 2:06 left in the third quarter, while a 32-yard pass from senior quarterback Jacob Coyle to senior tailback Jacob Thompson gave the J-Hawks a 14-13 lead with 9:56 to go.

“We have been there before,” Dunne said. “We all stayed up and were ready to go.”

After Hempstead was stopped on fourth down, its defense forced a Jefferson punt. The Mustangs marched 36 yards in 10 plays and culminated in the Jaeger kick.

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One last gasp from Jefferson (3-5, 1-3) ended with a fourth-and-10 at the Hempstead 36. The J-Hawks elected to try a 54-yard field goal with 20 seconds left, but it fell well short.

“Very ecstatic for that,” said Dunne, who threw for 121 yards and ran for 95. “Way better than going for a fourth-and-10.”

Prep football

AT KINGSTON STADIUM

Dubuque Hempstead 16, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 14

Dubuque Hempstead 0 13 0 3—16

C.R. Jefferson 0 0 7 7—14

DH — KeShaun Hill 20 pass from Aidan Dunne (Ben Jaeger kick)

DH — KeShaun Hill 3 pass from Aidan Dunne (kick blocked)

CRJ — Ezeki Leggins 1 run (Jacob Cross kick)

CRJ — Jacob Thompson 32 pass from Jacob Coyle (Jacob Cross kick)

DH — FG Ben Jaeger 25

RUSHING — Dubuque Hempstead: Aidan Dunne 25-95, Kamari Stanford 12-41, Zach Sabers 4-15, Jackson Ostrander 3-16; Cedar Rapids Jefferson: Jacob Coyle 16-70, Ezeki Leggins 19-56, Jacob Thompson 1-2, Derik Bunten 2-10, Gabe Coyle 2-(-4), Jacob Cross 1-0, Kenneth Moore 1-11.

PASSING — Dubuque Hempstead: Aidan Dunne 12-24-2-121; Cedar Rapids Jefferson: Jacob Coyle 13-30-1-140.

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RECEIVING — Dubuque Hempstead: Eli Herrion 4-50, KeShaun Hill 2-23, Jackson Ostrander 5-52, Ty Hancock 1-(-4); Cedar Rapids Jefferson: Gabe Coyle 4-6, Ezeki Leggins 2-38, Jacob Thompson 3-44, Ashton Schulte 2-31, Kastan Kolsto 1-8.

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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