Clear Creek Amana’s late-season magic finally came to an end Friday night.
After winning two straight games to keep their playoff chances alive, Clear Creek Amana (4-5) fell one win short of a postseason berth with a 42-28 loss to Maquoketa (6-3).
Marion clinched the fourth playoff spot in Class 3A, District 6 with its 10-0 win over Central Clinton and losses by Benton Community and Clear Creek Amana.
“Two weeks ago there were a lot of people that figured it was just the same old Clear Creek,” CCA coach Matt Hughes said. “And these guys never gave up, they never quit fighting, and I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys.”
Things couldn’t have started much worse for Clear Creek Amana on Friday.
The Clippers went three-and-out on their first two possessions of the game and both times Maquoketa followed with touchdowns.
Maquoketa opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Trent Bollman to Cohl Kueter that capped a 12-play, 63-yard drive.
Following another three-and-out by Clear Creek Amana, the Cardinals went 57 yards in 11 plays and upped the lead to 14-0 on a two-yard scoring plunge by Kueter.
“Lady momentum is what you really want on your side,” Maquoketa coach Kevin Bowman said of the early lead. “Cohl Kueter did a nice job for us. He pounded some rough yards and he is just a force and our offensive line did a nice job.”
CCA got back into the game on its next possession when Nile Rourke hooked up with Keyan McAreavy for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The strike from Rourke to McAreavy capped an 8-play, 66-yard drive that featured a 39-yard pass from Rourke to Tanner Bandy on a third-and-nine play.
It took the Cardinals just more than a minute to push the lead back to 14 points.
Ben Strathman returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the CCA 19-yard line and two plays later, Kueter scored on a 9-yard run to push the lead to 21-7.
Kueter ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns to go with his touchdown catch while Jacob Kloft added 70 yards and a score on the ground for Maquoketa.
The Cardinals had 110 of their 190 rushing yards in the first half.
“Give credit to Maquoketa, they came out and physically handed it to us,” Hughes said. “It’s tough to end a season, but I can tell you I am so proud of these kids. Where we have come from the first day of camp to where we are today is a completely different team.”
The Cardinals led 28-7 when Bollman scored on a 1-yard run with 2:15 left in the second quarter, but CCA responded with a drive before the half.
The Clippers marched 65 yards in 10 plays and cut the lead to 28-14 on Rourke’s 5-yard scoring scramble with just four seconds left before halftime.
Rourke rolled to his right and split a pair of Maquoketa defenders as he dove into the end zone.
Maquoketa took the momentum back early in the second half.
The Cardinals took the second half kickoff and needed just 5 plays to go 63 yards, taking a 35-14 lead on a 9-yard run by Bollman.
The Cardinal defense then turned in a pair of big plays as they twice came up with stops inside the five yard line.
CCA went 67 yards to the Cardinal five-yard line late in the third quarter, but Maquoketa stuffed Harry Lucas a yard short of the first down on the four yard line on a fourth-and-three play.
The Cardinals fumbled the ball back to CCA on their first offensive play following the turnovers on downs but CCA couldn’t capitalize as three runs netted only four yards and Rourke’s pass on fourth down as incomplete.
“It was a team effort,” Bowman said. “Our offense was efficient and our defense did good things when we needed them to.”
Maquoketa took a 42-14 lead on a 7-yard run by Kloft with 11:48 left before Clear Creek Amana tacked on a pair of fourth quarter scores.
The first on a five-yard run by Lucas and the second on a 20-yard run by Jon Nzombo.
Nzombo led CCA with 115 yards and touchdown on 17 carries.
“These kids never quit,” Hughes said. “All the way to the end of the game when Jon Nzombo ran in his final touchdown these guys were fighting.”
M — Cohl Kueter 12 pass from Trent Bollman (Cameron Thede Kick)
M — Kueter 2 run (Thede kick)
CCA — Keyan McAreavy 10 pass from Nile Rourke (Jon Jacobson kick)
M — Kueter 9 run
M — Bollman 1 run (Thede kick)
CCA — Rourke 5 run (Jacobson kick)
M — Bollman 9 run (Thede kick)
M — Jacob Kloft 7 run (Thede kick)
CCA — Harry Lucas 5 run (Jacobson kick)
CCA — Jon Nzombo 20 run (Jacobson kick)
|Total Nets Yards||298||311|
RUSHING – Visitor: Jacob Kloft 15-70, Cohl Kueter 10-48, Trent Bollman 8-38, Benjamin Strathman 1-37, Bradley Scheibe 4-(-1), Team 1-(-2). CCA, Jon Nzombo 17-115, Harry Lucas 16-68, Nile Rourke 10-19, Tanner Bandy 5-20.
PASSING – Maquoketa, Trent Bollman 7-12-0 108. CCA, Nile Rourke 7-17-0 89Tanner Bandy 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING – Maquoketa, Benjamin Strathman 3-63, Cohl Kueter 2-23, Alexander Gilmore 1-11, Joshua Dietzel 1-11. CCA, Tanner Bandy 2-49, Keyan McAreavy 2-18, Andrew Beckler 2-25, Harry Lucas 1-(-3)..