LIVINGSTON — The third time was not a charm for the Iowa–Grant football team Friday night.
For the third time in 12 months Pecatonica/Argyle had I–G’s number.
Gary Allen’s gritty Panthers scratched and clawed and held the defending Six Rivers Conference champions in check for the better part of three quarters. But the bigger Vikings took advantage of a back-breaking momentum swing midway through the third quarter to turn the tide and eventually wore down Allen’s boys in a 35–6 non-conference victory Friday night at Iowa–Grant High School.
Pec/Argyle also beat Iowa–Grant 34–12 last year in the regular season, then ended the Panthers’ season with a 20–9 victory in the second round of the WIAA Division 6 playoffs.
“We knew they would be a tough challenge,” said Allen. “I liked the way our kids prepared this week and that preparation showed up in the game. We have a smart group this year. They also have shown a willingness to compete.”
The teams traded punts to begin the game, but Pec (2–0) drew first blood on the game’s third possession when senior Collin Argue broke a tackle on 4th-and-3 and rumbled 14 yards into the end zone. Logan Green’s extra point made it 7–0.
The Vikings again held the Panthers on downs and forced a punt, taking over at their own 46. A few plays later senior Cameron Treuthardt crashed in from a yard out to make it 14–0.
The big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass from Green to senior tight end Kole Kent down to the I–G 10-yard line.
Iowa–Grant failed on a fake punt near midfield, but the Panthers’ defense held and forced a punt.
The I–G offense found a rhythm on its next drive, gaining five first downs to move to the Pec 17-yard-line, but a fumbled handoff ended the promising drive right with 1:41 left in the half.
The Panthers defense forced another punt and on the first play of the ensuing drive senior quarterback Caleb Hill connected with senior wide receiver Charles Christianson for a 75–yard touchdown with just 21.7 seconds left in the half to pull I–G within a touchdown at 14–6 going into halftime.
The I–G offense came out of the locker room reenergized by Christianson’s big play.
Hill connected with Christianson for an 11-yard gain. Junior halfback Brady Peat ripped off a 22 yard run, then Christianson made a spectacular leaping 26-yard catch over a pair of defenders and nearly scored on the play before being wrestled down at the 1-yard line.
But on the very next play, Iowa–Grant’s new-found momentum vaporized. Pec’s Collin Argue recovered a fumbled handoff and two plays later Treuthardt ripped off a 91-yard run to make it 21–6.
Green threw a 14-yard TD pass to Anthony Hendrickson early in the fourth quarter, then capped the scoring with a 26-yard pass to Collin Argue with five minutes left in the game.
Iowa–Grant rushed for 134 yards and passed for 215 yards in the game, but committed three turnovers, each of which ended a potential scoring drive.
“They were big, fast, and well coached,” said Allen. “They can pound the ball as well as throw it well. They are also disciplined on defense. We couldn’t afford to make as many mistakes with them as we did. They are too good for that.”
Hill completed 12 of 23 passes for 215 yards, one TD and one interception. His favorite targets were Christianson, who caught five balls for 131 yards, and junior tight end Clayton Kite, who hauled in five passes for 33 yards.
Peat finished with 90 yards on 11 carries.
Treuthardt rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Argue finished with 75 yards on the ground on 17 attempts and added a pair of scores, one rushing and one receiving.
Iowa–Grant (1–1) will look to get back on track Friday night when it opens conference play against visiting Boscobel (0–2).
“Boscobel is an improving program with some good athletes,” said Allen. “We will need to play well.”
Pecatonica/Argyle 35, Iowa–Grant 6
(from Friday, Aug. 26 @ Livingston)
Pec/Argyle 14 0 7 14 — 35
Iowa–Grant 0 6 0 0 — 6
P/A: Collin Argue 14 run (Logan Green kick)
P/A: Cameron Treuthardt 1 run (Green kick)
IG: Charles Christianson 75 pass from Hill (Peat kick)
P/A: Treuthardt 92 run (Green kick)
P/A: Anthony Hendrickson 14 pass from Green (kick blocked)
P/A: Argue 26 pass from Green (Hendrickson pass from Green)
First downs — P/A n/a; IG n/a. Rushing — P/A 45-245; IG 26-134. Passing Yards — P/A 126; IG 215. Passing — P/A 7-13-0; IG 12-23-1. Fumbles–lost — P/A 0-0; IG 2-2. Penalties-yards — P/A n/a, IG n/a.
Rushing — P/A: Cameron Treuthardt 13-139, Collin Argue 17-75; IG: Brady Peat 11-90. Passing — P/A: Logan Green 7-14-0, 112; IG: Caleb Hill 12-23-1, 215. Receiving — P/A: Anthony Hendrickson 3-37; IG: Charles Christianson 5-131, Clayton Kite 5-33.