High school football: Dowling Catholic avoids Johnston's opening upset bid

High school football: Dowling Catholic avoids Johnston's opening upset bid

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High school football: Dowling Catholic avoids Johnston's opening upset bid

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Johnston, Ia. — The upset was there.
Tenth-ranked Johnston was within striking distance of taking down No. 5 Dowling Catholic on Friday night.
Then Matthew Haack cut through Johnston’s defense, and its hopes.
Haack’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown sparked the Maroons to a
season-opening 34-16 win over the Dragons on the road.
“We needed something to get us going, and I got a chance to do it,” Haack said.
Dowling Catholic (1-0), which beat Johnston 27-14 a season ago, almost had its
fortunes reversed this season. Johnston (0-1) had a 16-7 lead late in the second quarter only to watch it quickly disappear.
Soon after junior running back Chase Dowell plunged in from a yard out for his second touchdown of the game, Dowling Catholic sophomore kicker Nick McLellan booted a 28-yard field goal before the half to give the Maroons a 17-16 lead.
Haack then silenced the Dragons’ crowd when he raced through the Dragons’ defense on the first play of the second half with his lengthy return.
“A huge momentum swing,” Dowling Catholic coach Tom Wilson said.
Johnston coach Brian Woodley felt the change, too.
“We were right there,” Woodley said. “We were playing right there with them.”
Johnston never could regroup.
“You can’t do that when you’re playing good football teams,” Woodley said of the return.
The Dragons’ defense was stumped by an up-and-coming Maroons offense led by sophomore quarterback Ryan Boyle and junior running back Dowell, the latter of whom rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Boyle took over the starting play-calling duties this season. He threw for 112 yards and rushed for another 69.
Wilson, who called the Maroons squad his youngest during his tenure, said he was pleased with how his youngsters played.
“We’re a work in progress,” Wilson said.
Another youngster, Johnston sophomore Jordan Weddington, rushed for 102 yards.
“I thought our kids played an outstanding first half,” Woodley said.
It was in the second when Haack, who has committed to punting at Arizona State next season, started celebrating.
“It was a good feeling to get the first win,” Haack said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Dowling Catholic 7 10 10 7 — 34
Johnston 3 13 0 0 — 16

J–FG, 35, Lashier
DC–Dowell 1 run (McLellan kick)
J–Montgomery 1 run (kick failed)
J–Weddington 9 run (Lashier kick)
DC–Dowell 2 run (McLellan kick)
DC–FG, 28, McLellan
DC–Haack 98 kickoff return (McLellan kick)
DC–FC, 20, McLellan
DC–Dowell 1 run (McLellan kick)
Individual leaders
Rushing–DC: Dowell 20-106, Boyle 17-69; J: Weddington 23-102.
Passing–DC: Boyle 12-18-0-112; J: Kinning 12-18-0-137.
Receiving–Haack 8-85, Wisnieski 3-26; J: McCauley 4-59, Montgomery 3-22

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High school football: Dowling Catholic avoids Johnston's opening upset bid
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