IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Regina Regals, ranked No. 6 in Class 1A, built a 21-7 lead midway through the third quarter and were beginning to impose their will. They appeared to stop Pella Christian deep in their own territory on a third-and-long play but were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that kept the drive alive.
From that point on, it was all Pella Christian (2-1). The Eagles scored 17 unanswered points, the final three coming on a Nathan De Bruin 20-yard field goal with 2:13 remaining, giving the visitors a stunning, 24-21, victory.
“I really though we had it,” Regina Coach Marv Cook said. “We made some mistakes in the second half and they capitalized on it.”
Regina (1-2) had to make some adjustments of its own for the game. Sophomore quarterback Ashton Cook suffered a foot injury in last week’s win over Anamosa and was in a walking boot on the sidelines.
His replacement, Scott Arndt, had a strong game, completing 18 of 35 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score early in the third quarter
“I thought Scott did a really great job, especially in the first half,” Marv Cook said. “He looked good on both of those touchdown passes to (Patrick Clark).”
The Regals were able to move the ball consistently between the 20s, but stalled several times in the red zone.
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“The field gets a little tighter down there,” Cook said. “We also made some mistakes down there but a lot of it was just Pella Christian.”
Noah Treimer scored all three touchdowns for Pella Christian. He hauled in a 53-yard pass from Dan Jungling just a few plays after the crucial Regina penalty. He then broke loose on a 49-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game.
The Eagles defense also cranked up the pressure on Arndt in the second half, forcing him into some tough throws.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Cook said.