LIVINGSTON — Iowa–Grant went toe-to-toe with visiting Darlington for nearly two full quarters of Friday’s SWAL opener.
But as the penalties and turnovers mounted, momentum swung and the talented Redbirds pulled away for a lopsided 49–12 victory.
Senior halfback Jason Singer rushed for 206 yards and tri of touchdowns and senior fullback Myles Leahy added three scores and an interception as Darlington piled up 345 yards rushing and seven touchdowns behind its hefty offensive line.
Iowa–Grant (2–1, 0–1 SWAL) committed seven penalties for 60 yards — including two costly personal foul penalties — and threw a pair of interceptions as a tied game turned into a route over in a 10-minute span that overlapped the second and third quarters.
Darlington (2–1, 1–0) scored five straight touchdowns as a 6–6 second-quarter tie late in the second quarter morphed into a 43–6 lead with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
“Darlington is a very good team to begin with,” said Iowa–Grant head coach Gary Allen. “The mistakes and penalties that we made just made it even harder to be successful on Friday night. Although we started off well Darlington made better adjustments then we did as the game went on. Darlington is a very strong and well coached team. They will be tough to beat.
Darlington took a 6–0 lead late in the first quarter when Leahy scored from a yard out to cap a 11-play, 66-yard drive. An I–G interception by senior Trent Milliken was wiped out by a roughing the passer penalty to keep the drive alive.
The teams traded turnovers early in the second quarter — I–G threw a pick, then Kyle Soderstrom recovered a Darlington fumble two plays later — before Logan Bomkamp tied the game on a 1-yard run with 5:19 left in the half.
Darlington answered with a 15-yard TD run by Singer, and Singer’s ensuing two-point conversion run made 14–6.
I–G gave the ball back to Darlington on downs at its own 40 with 30.1 seconds left in the half.
After a personal foul with six seconds left in the half gave the Rebirds one final play, Singer scooted around the right end for a 7-yard TD run on the final play of the half. Singer’s conversion run made it 22–6 at the half. Singer added a 52-yard run on the third play of the second half and another two-point conversion run.
Cole McDonald intercepted a pass on Iowa–Grant’s next drive to set up another one-yard Leahy TD run just four minutes into the third quarter.
Iowa–Grant will face another challenging test this Friday when it travels to undefeated Cuba City (3–0, 1–0).
Darlington 49, Iowa–Grant 12
(from Friday, Sept. 5 @ Livingston)
Darlington 6 16 21 6 — 49
Iowa–Grant 0 6 0 6 — 12
D: Myles Leahy 1 run (kick failed)
IG: Logan Bomkamp 1 run (kick failed)
D: Jason Singer 18 run (Singer run)
D: Singer 3 run (Singer run)
D: Singer 52 run (Singer run)
D: Leahy 1 run (Gullickson kick)
D: Leahy 1 run (kick failed)
IG: Brent Coppernoll 18 pass from Caleb Hill (kick failed)
D: Slade Norton 25 run (kick failed)
First downs — D 28, IG 18 Rushing — D 38-345, IG 30-111. Passing Yards — D 60, IG 126. Passing — D 4-4-0, IG 9-16-2 Fumbles–lost — D 1-1, IG 0-0. Penalties-yards — D 3-20, IG 7-60.
Rushing — D: Jason Singer 19-206; IG: Luke Nowak 16-75. Passing — D: Cole McDonald 4-4-0, 60; IG: Isaac Anderson 7-13-1, 100. Receiving — D: Singer 2-40; IG: Trent Milliken 3-71.