CEDAR FALLS – This was supposed to be Southeast Polk’s night.
As dominant as they were in their Iowa Class 4A semifinal victory back on Nov. 13, the Rams were primed to be a very tall wall for their eventual championship game opponent – Ankeny – to scale.
Ankeny not only scaled the wall, they downright knocked it over, and in the process, bookeneded West Des Moines Dowling’s unprecedented seven-title streak with a 42-14 blitz in the final game of the 2020 football season at the UNI-Dome.
Southeast Polk was downright impressive in its 50-10 win over Pleasant Valley in the semifinal. A least the Rams opened that way in the championship game when they scored on Jaxon Dailey’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Cole Filloon, and then held Ankeny to a pair of three-and-out drives.
But a muffed punt opened the floodgates for the Hawks, as Arland Bruce IV and Jase Bauer combined for five of their six touchdowns, four of them on the ground. Bauer had 15- and 4-yard runs, while Bruce had 34- and 9-yard runs. It was Bauer to Bruce on a 24-yard pass connection for the other run.
Bauer ended with 259 total yards, 158 on the ground.
The Hawks forced four Rams turnovers, and were held to 73 yards in the second half, a time when they needed to rally from a 21-14 halftime deficit. Dailey’s 1-yard run with 46 seconds left in the first half was the last time they scored on the night.
Even more impressive: Ankeny did not turn the ball over, while Southeast Polk lost the ball four times, three on interceptions.
The season saw Ankeny end 11-1, losing only to Waukee in the second week of the season and pick up the historic win over Dowling.
In Friday’s other state championship games:
Class 1A – OA-BCIG 33, Van Meter 26:
- The University of Iowa got a huge recruit in Cooper DeJean.
In the lone one-touchdown contest of the six championship games, the OA-BCIG senior quarterback pulled off a big comeback in the final 2:56. Down 26-18, the Falcons forced a Van Meter punt before DeJean got a pair of big pass plays and then set up a 3-yard touchdown run. A two-point touchdown tied the game.
The Bulldogs fumbled the kickoff and DeJean’s brother, Beckett, returned the ball to the 19 yard line. Then, in an improbable play that showed the older DeJean’s will to win, he shifted left, then right and found the hole for the go-ahead touchdown.
Van Meter drove to its own 43 on the ensuing series before a fourth-down pass was batted down, and OA-BCIG had its second straight state championship.
Statistically, the game was even, with the Falcons holding a slight edge in total yardage, 409-397, with Van Meter heavily leaning on its rushing game and the Falcons going by far more on passing. Van Meter had a huge advantage in possession time with 34 minutes to OA-BCIG’s 14, but the Falcons were more efficient and made the plays when needed. Dalten Van Pelt had 232 yards rushing for Van Metr, while Cooper DeJean wound up with 391 total yards, 318 passing on 14-of-27 with three touchdowns.
Class 2A – Waukon 28, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock:
- A year after losing to OA-BCIG in the state championship game, the Indians used two second half touchdowns to pull away from the Lions
Braxton Stewart hauled in a 56-yard touchdown from Creed Welch to cap a four-play, 80-yard drive to make it 22-14 late in the third quarter. The game was sealed with Ethan O’Neill’s 6-yard run with 1:39 left.
The Lions were held to 204 total yards, including 46 through the air and got a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns from Zach Lutmer.