BLANCHARDVILLE — Riley Ostby’s big first-half performance was just enough to lift top-seeded Pecatonica/Argyle to victory in Friday’s WIAA Division 6 Level 2 playoff game.
The senior halfback scored three touchdowns before the break and the Vikings, ranked second in Division 6, held on for a 20–9 victory over Iowa–Grant in a rematch from earlier in the season.
Ostby scored on a 12-yard run midway through the first quarter, then added a 3-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.
He caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Cam Treuthardt with 1:59 left in the half to make it 20–0.
Ostby finished the game with 149 yards rushing on 23 carries, but much of it came in the first half.
“Ostby is a very aggressive runner and he has very good blockers,” said Iowa–Grant head coach Gary Allen. “They also have other weapons you have to resect.”
As good as Ostby was in the first half, the Iowa–Grant defense dominated the second half, holding the undefeated Vikings scoreless and to less than 80 yards of offense in the final two quarters.
Defensively, senior Hunter Klaas had six solo tackles and 15 assists. Junior linebacker Clayton Kite was in on 18 tackles.
“Everyone on defense played really well,” said Allen. “Especially in the second half. The second half was the best half we played this season defensively. Our intensity was great. It gave us a chance.
“They are as big and physical as any one we have played. They also have enough speed to hurt you if you aren’t careful.”
Iowa–Grant broke up the shutout when junior quarterback Caleb Hill tossed a 14-yard touchdown to senior halfback Brayden Johnson with 1:29 left in the third quarter.
Hill completed 13 of 26 passes for 171 yards, one TD and one interception. Johnson caught three passes for 37 yards and also rushed for 74 yards on 22 carries.
The Panthers had two other promising drives after halftime, but failed to capitalize on either.
Pec/Argyle gave I–G its final two points when its punter stepped out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 1:30 left in the game to avoid a possible blocked punt touchdown.
Pec/Argyle (11–0) advanced to face third-seeded Melrose–Mindoro (9–2) in a Level 3 game Friday at 7 p.m.
The Panthers end the season 6–5.
“This group of seniors is special and will definitely be missed,” added Allen. “They are all good young men and it was fun to be around them every day. They always were willing to be coached and supported each other at all times. They leave some huge shoes to fill for the younger guys.”
WIAA Division 6 Level 2 playoff
Pecatonica/Argyle 20, Iowa–Grant 9
(from Friday, Oct. 30 @ Blanchardville)
Iowa–Grant 0 0 7 2 — 9
Pecatonica/Argyle 7 13 0 0 — 20
PA: Riley Ostby 12 run (kick good)
PA: Ostby 3 run (kick good)
PA: Ostby 4 pass from Cameron Treuthardt (kick failed)
IG: Brayden Johnson 14 pass from Caleb Hill (kick good)
IG: Team safety.
First downs — IG 13, PA 19. Rushing — IG 32-53, PA 34-153. Passing — IG 13-26-1, 171; PA 6-13-1, 97. Fumbles–lost — IG 1-1, PA 3-3. Penalties-yards — IG 7-60, PA 6-55.
Rushing — IG: Brayden Johnson 22-74; PA: Riley Ostby 23-149. Passing — IG: Caleb Hill 13-26-1, 171; PA: Logan Green 6-10-1-77. Receiving — IG: Isaac Anderson 3-47, Johnson 3-37; IG: Hendrickson 2-37.