IOWA CITY — The home crowd sat anxiously waiting as the clock trickled down to 2.6 seconds. Timeout. Out comes Iowa City Regina kicker Michael Dunn.
“Mike’s the guy,” Regina quarterback Bryce Barnett said. “I knew it was going in right as he kicked it. He’s money.”
Money he was. Dunn hit a 24-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to give Iowa City Regina (3-3, 2-0) a 22-19 win over South Hardin (2-4, 1-1) in Class 1A District 6 play Friday night.
Dunn was the hero at the end, but it was Barnett who kept the Regals in the ballgame.
Trailing 19-3 with 6:17 left in the third quarter, Regina’s back was against the wall. But Barnett wanted to give the fans something to cheer about on Homecoming night.
Late in the third quarter, Barnett made an athletic run, switching sides of the field on his way to a 35-yard TD. He then dove in for the 2-point conversion, making it a one-score game, 19-11.
Following a defensive stop, Regina got the ball back. Barnett again scored from 2 yards out, capping an 82-yard drive. And again, he converted for 2 to tie the game at 19 apiece.
Regina’s defense held strong and got the ball back to Barnett with just under five minutes left in the game.
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Operating quickly on the final drive, Barnett found wideout Alec Wick several times as the two played pitch and catch for much of the drive. Barnett threw for 154 yards in the game, and Wick accounted for 129 of those yards.
But facing a crucial fourth-and-2, Regina put the ball in the hands of Kieler Brown, who delivered, gashing South Hardin’s defense for 34 yards. Prior to Brown’s run, the Regals had been 0-for-3 on fourth-down attempts.
Brown’s burst helped put Regina in field goal range for Dunn.
“Every day in practice I do the same thing,” said Dunn. “I just treated it like it was practice. I just kind of did it.”