Early on it dominance wasn’t something that seemed to be content on either side of the ball.
Close games are something to be expected when No. 7 Coon Rapids-Bayard (6-1) and Glidden-Ralston (3-4) meet. But in the first half both teams showed home much homework they had done on on each other.
Before Coon Rapids-Bayard went on to win 33-14, it was the Wildcats that gave the Crusaders their first points of the contest.
The first drive for Glidden-Ralston turned into a disaster. On the first play a low snap resulted in a loss of nearly 10 yards, pushing the Wildcats back to the shadow of their own goal line.
Coon Rapids-Bayard blew up the second play as another low snap pushed quarterback Grant Borkowski into the endzone. As he collected the ball, Borkowski was met by two Crusader linemen. Panicked, Borkowski tried to dump the ball off to a receiver, but he was tackled as he made the throw, and the ball flew about five yards before splashing down in the wet grass.
A yellow flag flew. Borkowski was guilty of intentional grounding. To make things worse, Borkowski had committed the penalty in the endzone, resulting in a safety, and two points for Coon Rapids-Bayard.
After the free kick, CR-B quarterback, Peyton Clipperton was able to use a read option run to dash 22-yards down the field for a score.
Clipperton was able to find space because Glidden-Ralston had refused to give up space to one of the state of Iowa’s best backs, Jeffrey Eagle.
“The Wildcats were really keyed in on Eagle,” said Chris Mohr, the head coach for Coon Rapids-Bayard. “So that allowed Peyton to have the success that he did.”
After their rivals had gone up by a touchdown, Glidden-Ralston answered when senior defensive end Ethan Determan recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. After the failed two point conversion the Crusaders held onto an 8-6 lead.
They would add to that later in the first when Clipperton broke free on a 16-yard touchdown run to help the Crusaders take a 14-6 lead.
For most of the rest of the first half the game dwelled on field position as wet field conditions and the rivalry kept either team from gaining too much ground.
Halfway through the second quarter Glidden-Ralston gained success through the passing game. They capped off the impressive drive when junior Brigham Daniel made a one-handed catch in the endzone for six more points. The Wildcats went for the game-tying two-point conversion, gaining it, and tying the game at 14.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Mohr said. “It always is with Glidden-Ralston. I told them that we need to focus on doing our jobs and keep working hard.”
The jobs for both teams in the third quarter became to keep the other team out of the endzone. It worked as the third quarter became a stalemate with neither team scoring.
“We made some adjustments at half time to our blocking scheme each really paid off in the fourth quarter,” Mohr said about what his team worked on at halftime.
The fourth quarter blocking really paid off as the Crusaders broke the tie with three fourth quarter running plays for scores. One was off a Clipperton 16-yard run. Eagle added two more with runs that totaled 10 yards.
With that the Crusaders were able to keep their record at 6-1. They also gained momentum as they head into a district game with undefeated and sixth-ranked CAM this Friday night.
“It was a great win over a tough physical team,” Mohr said. “That is what we’re going to see in CAM next week. We just need to continue to learn and get better. We have to be prepared for teams to continue to load the box on us to stop the run. We need to be ready to make adjustment sooner then halftime to get the offense going early. The defense has been playing lights out the last two weeks especially.”
Glidden-Ralston will return home where they will play Audubon, the fourth-ranked team in 8-player competition.
Although he didn’t complete any of his four passes on Friday night, Clipperton ran for 103 yards and three scores. Eagle added 108 yards and two scores. Jalen Rosenbeck finished with one yard rushing.
Kale Pevestorf had two fumble recoveries and 5.5 total tackles in the game for CR-B.
The Crusaders were led by Gabe Obert with 6.5 tackles on the night. Clipperton added 5.5. Josue Ramirez finished with five tackles and Aaron McAlister had 4.5.
The Wildcats did not report any stats by Monday afternoon.