By David Swartz
HULL - Cody Poock scored three touchdowns for No. 5 Spirit Lake, including the game-winning 17-yard catch from Paul Brown, as the Indians defeated top-ranked Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 21-17 in the Class 2A quarterfinal in Hull on Friday.
Poock opened the game with an 85-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and then scored early in the third-quarter on a 20-yard run that give the Indians a 14-3.
Penalties and turnovers halted the Indians' offense until the final game-winning drive that went 84-yards in 7 minutes, 6 seconds, ending on Poock's catch.
Brown was 10-of-17 passing for 100 yards, but had four interceptions on the night.
Aplington-Parkersburg 49, Dike-New Hartford 22
Emmetsburg 55, IKM-Manning 7
St. Albert, Council Bluffs 28, Mount Ayr 0
Beckman, Dyersville 32, Waukon 20
Kuemper Catholic, Carroll 22, West Marshall 13
Mediapolis 48, Bondurant Farrar 14
Spirit Lake 21, Boyden-Hull-RV 17
Bishop Heelan Catholic 21, Council Bluffs Lewis Central 0
Decorah 21, Central Clinton, DeWitt 14
Williamsburg 31, Winterset 13
Ankeny 27, West Des Moines Valley 10
Cedar Falls 28, Pleasant Valley 21
Southeast Polk 49, West Des Moines Dowling 14
Logan-Magnolia 46, Woodward-Granger 14
Wapsie Valley, Fairbank 46, North Tama, Traer 20
Don Bosco, Gilbertville 42, Clarksville 6
"My teammates bailed me out and gave me an opportunity to win it at the end," Brown said.
Of Poock's game-winning catch Brown said, "He made a great cut to the corner and from there it was just a pitch and catch."
Spirit Lake advances to the UNI-Dome where they will play Kuemper Catholic in the Class 2A semifinal next Saturday. Kuemper defeated West Marshall 22-13 in the other quarterfinal.
Beckman Catholic and Mediapolis will meet in the other semifinal. Beckman won 32-20 over Waukon and Mediapolis won 48-14 over Bondurant-Farrar.
After being limited to just 45 yards rushing in the teams' first meeting, the Indians finished the night with 188 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Meanwhile, Spirit Lake's defense limited Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley to 146 yards on the ground. In the first meeting, Nighthawk quarterback Brandt Van Roekel had 151 yards rushing. This time, Spirit Lake limited him to 113 yards on 17 carries. Van Roekel did have 90 yards passing, but he also had four interceptions.
Spirit Lake had the best start possible with Poock's 85-yard run. Brett Cochran-Bray's extra-point kick made the score 7-0 with just 22 seconds gone off the clock.
On the Nighthawks' second-play from scrimmage, Bryson McCabe picked off Van Roekel's pass.
The Indians put together a drive that stalled at the 7-yard line.
The momentum swung toward Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley when they blocked Cochran-Bray's 23-yard field goal attempt.
The Nighthawks used that to spark a drive of their own, but the Indians' defense stiffened at their 16-yard line. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley settled for a 34-yard field goal by David De Bruin to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 2:27 remaining in the first quarter.
The Indians started their next drive at midfield, but Brown threw his first interception of the night to Andrew Van Ginkel.
Moments later the Nighthawks' fumbled but recovered it themselves.
But on the next play, the fumble landed in Spirit Lake hands.
The Indians started another drive and overcame several penalties before Poock scored on a 20-yard run at the 11:10 mark. Cochran-Bray's kick made the score 14-3.
The two teams went back and fourth the rest of the half.
Spirit Lake was pinned deep in its territory and was forced to punt after several penalties. Spirit Lake got the ball back and this time Brown threw his second interception of the night as Van Roekel picked off his pass.
But the Nighthawks' drive stalled when Rick Maris picked off Van Roekel.
Casey Spaeth picked off Van Roekel for his third interception of the half.
Spirit Lake then ran off the final 35 seconds of the half.
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley started the second half with a drive that went into the red zone. But Poock and Rick Maris sacked Van Roekel for a 7-yard loss on fourth down.
While Van Roekel struggled to score on offense, moments later he picked off a Brown pass and returned it 25 yards for the score. After the extra point, the Nighthawks trailed just 14-10.
Brown threw his third interception on the next drive and Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley again turned it into points.
Soon after converting a fourth-and-one at the 33-yard line, Van Roekel connected with Miguel Alvarado on an 8-yard pass to give the hosts their first lead. The extra point kick made the score 17-14 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.
Spirit Lake's next drive ended in Nighthawk territory, but the Indians were unable to convert a fourth-and-five.
After forcing the Nighthawks to punt, Spirit Lake's game-winning drive started with 7:50 remaining in the game at the 16-yard line.
Brown connected on one pass to Poock and two to Spaeth to get into Nighthawk Territory.
Poock converted a fourth-and-short with a 4-yard run inside the 20.
On first down, Poock lost 4 yards, but made up for it with 17-yard touchdown catch on second down.
"I'm incredibly proud of how our team overcame adversity," said Spirit Lake coach Josh Bolluyt. "While there was some frustration with situations, there was no frustration on the sidelines-we just stayed positive."
Poock finished with 152 rushing yards on 16 carries and two catches for 32 yards.
Bryson McCabe had five rushes for 19 yards and two catches for 1 yard. Maris carried the ball twice for 16 yards and had two catches for 22 yards. Spaeth had two catches for 28 yards and Andrew Ites had two catches for 17 yards.
Spirit Lake finished with 11 penalties for 70 yards compared to the Nighthawks who had eight penalties for 40 yards.