CEDAR FALLS — West Liberty was not ready for the run to come to a close.
Monroe PCM had other things in mind.
The top-ranked Mustangs earned a shot at their first state title, defeating the Comets, 27-0, in the Class 2A state football semifinals Saturday night at the UNI-Dome. PCM (12-0) will face No. 2 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (11-1) in the championship game here Friday at 2 p.m.
The game started as a defensive battle. West Liberty forced a turnover on downs and got an interception from Talen Dengler to thwart the Mustangs’ first two drives.
PCM started to find its stride with the big-play ability of running back Wes Cummings. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder had three carries of 20 yards or more in the first half.
He broke loose for a 41-yard touchdown run with 4:56 left in the first quarter, capping a two-play, 43-yard drive set up by a 14-yard punt by West Liberty. The score sparked PCM, which scored on two of its next two drives.
Cummings rushed for 116 of his 148 before halftime and has 1,582 this season going into the championship game.
The Mustangs defense helped the lead grow to 14-0. Cole Dustin sacked Seth Feldman, knocking the ball free. PCM’s Seth Greiner wrestled control of it on the ground at the Comets’ 24.
Four plays later, PCM connected on its longest pass play of the first half. Reed Worth lofted a pass to the right side of the end zone and Brayton VanDyke made a diving catch for the score two minutes after the first points.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Worth finished with just 62 yards passing, but had two touchdowns. He hit a wide-open Isaac Telfer for an 18-yard score on the Mustangs’ first possession after the break to make it 24-0.
PCM’s Andrew Mitchell hit a 25-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the second quarter for a 17-0 halftime lead.
West Liberty struggled to gain yardage, reaching PCM territory once in six first-half drives.
Feldman led the Comets offense with 172 yards of total offense, including 94 yards passing. He added 66 on the ground and caught one pass for 12 yards. Lake Newton was his top target, catching five passes for 57 yards.
The Comets defense has been stout all season. They played well, limiting 2A’s top offensive team to 267 total yards and 11 first downs.
West Liberty closed the season at 8-4, beating two ranked teams in the playoffs for seven straight victories. The Comets reached the semifinals for just the second time in 10 postseasons and the first time since 1987.
l Comments: (319) 368-8679; firstname.lastname@example.org