ONTARIO — The shorthanded Iowa–Grant Panthers 2013 playoff run came to an end Friday with a 27–7 loss in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 6 playoffs to a stout Brookwood team.
Despite playing without starting quarterback Isaac Anderson, who was lost for the season with a broken collarbone in Week 7, and starting fullback/linebacker Cody Rider, I–G mounted a worthy effort, but Brookwood’s mighty defense stuffed the shorthanded Panthers’ offense.
The Falcons rushed for 291 yards of their own and held the Panthers vaunted running game to just 116 yards on 39 carries and forced a key fumble on the goal line early in the second quarter.
“We came out trying to pound the ball but to Brookwood’s credit they played very tough defense,” said I–G head coach Gary Allen.
Brookwood (10–1) advances to play top-seeded and SWAL champion Darlington (10–1) Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Iowa–Grant ends the year at 8–3 overall.
“We were pleased to see some of the back ups take advantage of their opportunities this year when they were given a chance,” said Allen. “Overall it was a good season. The seniors will be missed. They were a big part of our success the last couple years.”
A year ago I–G went 9–3 and advanced to the Divsion 6 semifinals.
Brookwood took an early lead Friday when senior halfback Paul Ryan scored from 23 yards out at the 10:23 mark of the first quarter. Jack Hansen kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead. Ryan finished the game with 178 yards on 16 carries.
The Panthers responded with a long drive that had on them two yards from tying the game, but a crushing hit by senior Josh Marten forced a Luke Nowak fumble right at the goalline. Brookwood recovered and I–G’s best scoring threat in the first half was gone.
“That fumble at the goal line hurt,” said Allen.
With five seconds left in the third quarter Marten scored on a 17-yard run to make it 14–0. Marten finished the game with 81 yards on nine carries.
Cory Ottum added to the Brookwood lead with a 3-yard TD run at the 5:55 mark of the fourth quarter.
“They mixed the option in with a good power running game,” Allen said. “They put us on our heels early and we struggled at times with their speed.”
With the score at 20–0 the Panthers went to the air and the left arm of backup quarterback Lucas Zimmerman.
A minute after the Falcons scored, Zimmerman completed a quick march down field with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Trent Millikan to make it 20–7.
Brookwood quarterback Dominic Luxton added a 1-yard TD run with 2:34 left to account for the final score.
Zimmerman completed 12 of 23 passes for 123 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the game.
Nowak rushed for 95 yards on 23 carries, and led the team with four receptions for 54 yards. Milliken caught four passes for 44 yards.
“We had some opportunities, but couldn’t make them pay off,” said Allen. “The bottom line is, it is my job to find ways to put our kids in position to succeed. I didn’t get that done. The blame rests on my shoulders.”
WIAA Division 6 Level I playoff
Brookwood 27, Iowa–Grant 7
(from Friday, Nov. 1 @ Ontario)
Iowa–Grant 0 0 0 7 — 7
Brookwood 7 0 7 13 — 27
B: Paul Ryan 23 run (Hansen kick)
B: Marten 17 run (Hansen kick)
B: Ottum 3 run (pass failed)
IG: Trent Milliken 5 pass from Lucas Zimmerman (Mikkel Wind kick)
B: Luxton 1 run (Hansen kick)
First downs — IG 11, B 11. Rushing — IG 39-116, B 42-291. Passing Yards — IG 123; B 46. Passing — IG 12-21-1; B 3-9-0. Fumbles–lost — IG 2-1, B 1-1. Penalties-yards — IG 2-20, B 6-65.
Rushing — IG: Luke Nowak 23-95; B: Ryan 16-178, Marten 9-78. Passing — IG: Lucas Zimmerman 12-21-1, 123; B: Luxton 3-8-0, 46. Receiving — IG: Nowak 4-54, Milliken 4-44; B: Kaiser 2-26.