ALBIA — It was a drive executed to near perfection — except for getting that last yard.
And what came next was one of the biggest momentum swings of Central Lee’s 37-7 loss to Albia on Friday night.
The Hawks (3-2 overall, 0-2 Class 2A District 5) trailed 22-0 at halftime, but had some energy after stopping the Blue Demons (3-2, 1-1) inside the Central Lee 10-yard line before blocking a field goal to end the first half.
Central Lee then took the second half kickoff and drove all the way to the Albia 1-yard line before quarterback Kayden Calfee was stopped on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Blue Demons. And all they did was drive 99 yards in eight plays for the touchdown — a 28-yard pass from Albia quarterback Luke Wynn to receiver Connor Fisher — that finished the Hawks’ hopes.
“We came out at halftime and did exactly what we wanted to,” Central Lee coach Doug Dodds said. “We go right down the field, we’re where we want to be, and they got the stop. And then they just executed and made a heck of a drive.”
It was that kind of night for the Hawks, who never got into an offensive rhythm in the first half as the Blue Demons’ speed kept Central Lee from doing anything outside the tackles.
“I think they did a really nice job of rallying to the football on defense,” Dodds said. “They made it apparent they weren’t going to let us get to the outside.”
Albia scored twice in the first quarter for a 16-0 lead. Wynn had touchdown runs of 16 yards and 1 yard, and threw two two-point conversion passes.
Wynn’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Fisher early in the second quarter pushed Albia’s lead to 22-0. The Blue Demons were driving for what could have been another score in the closing seconds, but Central Lee’s Kegan Damico blocked a 24-yard field goal as time ran out on the half.
Spencer Maddison, who rushed for 132 yards, provided Albia’s final points with a 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. But Central Lee answered with a 74-yard touchdown run by Calfee on the first play after the ensuing kickoff for its only points.
Wynn threw for 214 yards and rushed for 56.
Calfee had 12 carries for 90 yards to lead Central Lee. Chase Johnson rushed for 76 yards.
It was Albia’s fifth consecutive win over the Hawks.
Central Lee plays at West Burlington next Friday.
“We fixed our mistakes from last week, and that was a big message this week,” Dodds said. “So that was good to see. They’re a great group of kids to be around all of the time, and we’re just going to keep working. We’ve got a lot of games left to play, and I told them that.”
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