The complete Iowa state football championship field is now set.
Friday evening and throughout the day Saturday, six more teams punched their tickets to the state championship game with wins at the UNI-Dome.
In Class 4A, there will be a champion that is someone other than West Des Moines Dowling for the first time since 2013, after Ankeny knocked off the Maroons in a thrilling overtime contest, 31-24.
They’ll battle Southeast Polk, the odds-on favorite, after blowing past Pleasant Valley 50-10.
In Class 2A, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock is back in the state championship game for the first time since 2008 and will take on recent powerhouse Waukon for the title. CL/G-LR won over Camache 41-0, while Waukon beat PCM 39-21.
In Class 1A, Van Meter ground out a tough win over South Central Calhoun 28-20, while OA-BCIG and their powerhouse quarterback Cooper DeJean pushed back a tough effort from Sigourney-Keota to advance, 43-21.
Championship games for Classes 1A, 2A and 4A are Friday. Here’s how they got there:
CLASS 1A – OA-BCIG vs. Van Meter, 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20
OA-BCIG is in the state championship game for the second year in a row, and it’s all on quarterback Cooper DeJean, the Iowa recruit who has put up video game-like numbers during his run.
DeJean was in on all six of the Falcons’ touchdowns, the final five by pass as he connected three times to Easton Harms for 36, 11 and 92 yards. The only time DeJean didn’t put points on the board was when Caden Wareham kicked a 33-yard field goal to open the second half.
DeJean ended with 411 yards passing on a 21-of-34 effort with one interception; he also had 73 yards rushing, including a 1-yard touchdown run. The Savage Cobras of Sigourney-Keota were led by Sam Sieren’s 231 yards rushing and a touchdown.
OA-BCIG was last year’s Class 2A state champions and dropped down a class this year.
Van Meter also is back in the state championship game after losing a year ago to CL/G-LR’s arch rival, West Lyon. The Bulldogs are likely still smarting from a 50-14 loss, and will be looking for redemption after getting rushing touchdowns from Dalten Van Pelt and Jack Pettit, and a 16-yard pass reception from Pettit to Ganon Archer, the pass play giving the Bulldogs a 20-6 lead.
SCC was in the semifinals for the first time and certainly not intimidated. The Titans got scores from Brennan Holder and Cole Corey. The Bulldog defense, however, held the Titans to 177 total yards.
Van Pelt led Van Meter with 170 rushing yards and also had a 29-yard pass reception.
CLASS 2A – Central Lyon/George-Little Rock vs. Waukon, 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
There’s no other way to put it: Camanche was simply outclassed by CL/G-LR.
The Indians from the eastern Iowa Mississippi River town, who were in the semifinals for the first time, simply had no answers for the Lions’ speed, blocking and overall ability. CL/G-LR outgained Camanche 432-131 to post the only shutout in 12 semifinal games.
CL/G-LR’s defense, meanwhile, never allowed the Indians to get closer than the Lions’ 36, and also produced two interceptions. Kalen Meyer scored the first of three touchdowns with 5:18 left in the first quarter, and Zach Lutmer added 323 total yards – 147 rushing, 176 passing – and two touchdowns to spark the rout. Cade Everson led Camanche’s effort with 61 yards on the ground.
The Lions did their part to make the title game a far-northwest vs. far-northeast contest, as Waukon pulled away late to stifle PCM and get a second straight championship game berth.
Last year’s runners-up, the Indians led the whole way but saw an early 16-0 lead whittled down to 24-21 after the Mustangs’ Jacob VanWinkle had a pair of touchdown passes. But Waukon’s Ethan O’Neill, who had 192 yards rushing, scored the last two touchdowns to help his team pull away from the Mustangs.
CLASS 4A – Ankeny vs. Southeast Polk, 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
Everyone knew that West Des Moines Dowling’s state championship run would come to an end sometime. It was just a matter of when.
For awhile there, it looked like that answer would be next year.
The Maroons jumped out to a 14-3 lead but the Hawks rallied and took the lead at 17-14 with 10:20 to play in regulation on a 25-yard touchdown reception by Brady McCullough. Maroon placekicker Jake Calvert tied the game late in the fourth period on a 23-yard chip-shot field goal, forcing overtime.
After trading touchdowns in the first extra period, Ankeny quarterback Jase Bauer went in on a 3-yard keeper to put his team up 31-24. The Maroons’ turn in its half of the second overtime lasted just one down. Arland Bruce IV intercepted Jaxon Smolik’s first down pass just inside the right side of the end zone to make history, and the Hawks’ sideline erupted in pandemonium.
Ankeny had the ball nine minutes less than Dowling, but the Hawks outgained the Maroons 319-236. Smolik led the Maroons’ passing with 105 yards on a 9-of-15 effort with two touchdowns, with his one interception being the costly one. Bauer also was 9-for-15 for 123 yards and also had two touchdowns and a pass picked off.
The other semifinal in Class 4A, pitting Southeast Polk vs. Pleasant Valley, was nowhere near as dramatic.
The Rams simply outclassed the Spartans in every way.
Quarterback Jaxon Dailey connected with Isaiah Emanuel on a quick slant just 12 seconds into the game for an 80 yard touchdown run, and it was going to be a long night for PV.
The Spartans held the ball for 31:38, almost double the time the Rams did, but the Rams were quick and efficient, rolling up 404 yards on 44 plays. Dailey had two passing touchdowns, including the game-opening score, and a run, while running back Titus Christiansen had 176 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. PV was led by senior Caden Kipper, who had 150 total yards, including 97 on the ground, and a 17-yard touchdown reception.