Prep Football

No. 1 Dike-New Hartford too much for Iowa City Regina

Regals end season at 5-4, will miss playoffs for first time since 2003

Dike-New Hartford Wolverines
Dike-New Hartford Wolverines

IOWA CITY — For the first time in 15 years, the Iowa high school football playoffs will not include Iowa City Regina.

The Regals knew they needed a victory against Class 1A No. 1 Dike-New Hartford in a de facto District 6 championship game Friday night in order to receive an automatic berth in the 16-team playoff field. Without the district crown, their position in the first-year Ratings Percentage Index would not be enough to overcome another defeat.

Regina got within seven points twice in the second half, but Dike-New Hartford scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter on its way to a 56-28 victory and a district championship at Regal Field.

“I thought we were where we needed to be, one possession away going into the fourth quarter,” Regina Coach Marv Cook said. “They’re just so good. They’re really so disciplined and they’re downhill on you and they keep coming after you.”

The loss snapped a 57-game district win streak for Regina (5-4, 4-1 District 6), which included four in a row this season after losing three of its first four games during a challenging non-district slate. Only a 64-game district win streak by both West Des Moines Dowling (1967-1977) and Emmetsburg (1984-2004) was longer in the history of the state across all classes.

Regina had qualified for the playoffs in every season since 2003, highlighted by six state championships in a row from 2010-15.

“The hard part with the way the season went is we had 10 guys out for four weeks early on,” Cook said. “We had some losses and that just killed us in the RPI. … Now we’re getting healthy and I think we’re a pretty good team.”

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Regina sophomore quarterback Ashton Cook threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions against a Dike-New Hartford defense that had not allowed a point since Sept. 21 and had surrendered just six total points in four district games. Senior receiver Scott Arendt caught six passes for 120 yards and a 23-yard TD that tied the game at 14-14 for the Regals in the second quarter. His 1-yard TD run out of the Wildcat formation pulled Regina within 28-21 midway through the third quarter.

Regina sophomore receiver Alec Wick added seven receptions for 95 yards and a 19-yard score that again cut the Regina deficit to seven points at 35-28 after three quarters.

It was a rare four-quarter game this season for Dike-New Hartford (9-0, 5-0), its first in a return to Class 1A after two years in 2A. The Wolverines will enter the playoffs as the top-ranked team in the field and have reached four state championship games — two in Class 1A and two in 2A — without a state title. Before Dike and New Hartford merged, Dike won a 1A crown in 1981.

“I think we’re ready to take it,” said Dike-New Hartford junior tailback Cade Bennett, who ran for 342 yards and four touchdowns. “We’ve kind of had this thing in the back of our head all season. We’ll be fine. We’ll be able to get it.”

Dike-New Hartford junior quarterback Drew Sonnenberg passed for 171 yards and a touchdown and also ran for two scores. Receiver Parker Kiewiet — another highly-productive junior for the Wolverines — caught five passes for 142 yards and his 74-yard leaping catch and run for a score broke the 14-14 second-quarter tie and gave Dike-New Hartford the lead for good.

The Wolverines will host a first-round game when the playoffs begin next Friday.

“We had not played this level of competition for quite some time,” Dike-New Hartford Coach Don Betts said. “That’s a championship program they’ve got and they’re not going to go down easy. They’re going to battle to the end. We have a ton of respect for Coach Cook and his program. I told our kids, ‘We just need to keep battling.’ I thought that if we just kept battling, we could wear them down in the end.”

AT REGAL FIELD

Class 1A No. 1 Dike-New Hartford 56, Iowa City Regina 28

Dike-New Hartford 14 14 7 21—56

Iowa City Regina 7 7 14 0—28

DNH — Cade Bennett 30 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

DNH — Drew Sonnenberg 1 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

ICR — Kieler Brown 12 run (Michael Dunn kick)

ICR — Scott Arendt 23 pass from Ashton Cook (Michael Dunn kick)

DNH — Parker Kiewiet 74 pass from Drew Sonnenberg (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

DNH — Cade Bennett 17 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

ICR — Scott Arndt 1 run (Michael Dunn kick)

DNH — Cade Bennett 18 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

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ICR — Alec Wick 19 pass from Ashton Cook (Michael Dunn kick)

DNH — Drew Sonnenberg 1 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

DNH — Tristin Cleveland 1 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

DNH — Cade Bennett 46 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)

RUSHING — Dike-New Hartford: Cade Bennett 35-342, Cade Fuller 3-6, Drew Larson 3-7, Tristan Cleveland 1-1, Tim Koop 1-4, Drew Sonnenberg 4-(-2); I.C. Regina: Kieler Brown 16-69, Ashton Cook 1-(-5), Scott Arendt 3-11, Drew Hartwig 4-1.

PASSING — Dike-New Hartford: Drew Sonnenberg 8-10-0-171, Cade Fuller 1-1-0-25; I.C. Regina: Ashton Cook 24-42-2-365, Scott Arndt 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING — Dike-New Hartford: Cade Fuller 1-11, Tim Koop 2-32, Parker Kiewiet 5-142, Ely Sohn 1-10; I.C. Regina: Patrick Clark 2-16, Alec Wick 7-95, Scott Arendt 6-120, Bryce Barnett 4-84, Kieler Brown 2-31.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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