Prep Football

Sigourney-Keota can't keep pace with OABCIG in state football semifinals

Cooper DeJean throws for 411 yards and 5 TDs in the Falcons' 43-21 Class 1A semifinal win

CEDAR FALLS — Sigourney-Keota had to shorten the game and control the ball, and it did.

But here’s the thing: Cooper DeJean and his buddies don’t need a lot of time to do a lot of damage.

DeJean passed for 411 yards and five touchdowns, and top-ranked Ida Grove OABCIG moved within a game of a championship repeat, 43-21, in a Class 1A state football semifinal Saturday afternoon at the UNI-Dome.

“We had to take care of business, and now it’s on to the next one,” said DeJean, a University of Iowa recruit. “The guys know when I get out of the pocket, they have to get open.”

DeJean completed 21 of 34 passes, and the Falcons (11-0) didn’t punt all game.

Last year’s Class 2A champion, OABCIG won its 24th consecutive game, and will play for the 1A crown at 10 a.m. Friday against No. 2 Van Meter (11-0) — a 20-12 victor over South Central Calhoun.

DeJean, who also ran for a touchdown, connected with five different receivers. Easton Harms caught nine passes for 189 yards, including a 93-yarder on a fourth-quarter bomb that gave the Falcons a 43-14 lead with 7:31 remaining.

“We have a connection,” Harms said. “I love being his receiver. We talk before every play, and before that play, he told me to cut out, and if I could get outside, to cut it upfield.”

OABCIG cruised despite a big disadvantage in time of possession: 31:30 for the third-ranked Cobras (10-1), 16:30 for the Falcons.

“Obviously, (ball control) was the goal,” Sigourney-Keota Coach Jared Jensen said. “We wanted to keep it out of their hands, and we wanted to capitalize on the drives we had. If we could get 3 1/2 yards a pop, we’d be in good shape.”

The Cobras did better than that, rushing 62 times for 322 yards. But bad snaps got them off schedule on their first and third drives.

“Negative plays hurt us,” Brady Duwa said. “They were drive-killers for us.”

And empty drives kept the Cobras from keeping up with DeJean and crew.

“He’s a combination of Michael Vick and Seneca Wallace,” Jensen said. “He can do it all. He’s really comfortable, even when he’s under pressure.”

Sigourney-Keota tied the game, 7-7, with a textbook single-wing march that ate nearly six minutes off the clock and ended with Sam Sieren’s 9-yard touchdown run. And Cade Molyneau’s 5-yard TD capped a 10-play drive and brought the Cobras within 19-14 with 2:00 left in the first half.

That was too much time. DeJean started the next OABCIG drive with a 33-yard completion to Cameron Sharkey, and ended it with a 38-yard scoring strike to Griffin Diersen — on fourth-and-28, no less — with 0:18 remaining. That put the Falcons in command, 26-14, at intermission, and they scored the first 17 points of the second half.

“At halftime, we still thought we had a shot,” Duwa said. “Even down three scores, we thought we could come back and do it.”

Sigourney-Keota had its moments offensively. The Cobras amassed 24 first downs, and Sieren ran for 231 yards on 31 carries.

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“We were going pretty well with our game plan. We tried to pound it at them,” Sieren said. “We just had a few mental mistakes that hurt us.”

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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