Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Down and seemingly out, West Des Moines Dowling somehow came back to win a state championship.
Mark Chapman sent the game into overtime with a 23-yard field goal and Dalton Parrott scored on a 3-yard run in the extra session, lifting No. 1 Dowling to a 38-31 victory over No. 2 Iowa City High in the Class 4A state championship game Friday night.
City High, the defending champion, got its chance in overtime after Parrott scored, but Dowling's Eric Lee leaped in the end zone to intercept Andrew McNulty's fourth-down pass to end the game.
Dowling (14-0) won its third state championship in its 10th appearance in the title game. City High (13-1), in the finals for the seventh time, was denied a fifth championship in a tense, back-and-forth game between two of the state's most successful programs.
City High appeared to have taken control of the game when Cedric Readus sprinted 76 yards for a touchdown and Drew Cornwell followed with a 27-yard field goal for a 31-21 lead with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
Dowling's Connor Bravard then fumbled the ball away on the Maroons' next possession, but their defense held and that seemed to ignite the offense. Bravard led Dowling on an eight-play, 79-yard drive that Parrott capped with a 2-yard run, cutting the lead to 31-28.
The Maroons got another chance when City High gambled on fourth-and-8 at midfield and threw an incomplete pass instead of punting. Dowling took over at the Little Hawks' 49 with 2:30 left and drove to the 5, where the drive stalled. Chapman then came on and kicked his tying field goal with 15 seconds remaining.
Bravard kept the Dowling offense moving with his dual-threat skills. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and added 143 yards rushing in 20 carries, often gaining big chunks of yardage on quarterback draws.
Readus finished with 171 yards in 23 carries, while McNulty passed for 162 yards and one touchdown. He also scored a touchdown but was sacked three times. The last sack cost the Little Hawks 9 yards on their third down play in overtime, forcing him to throw the ball into the end zone on the last play and into Lee's hands, touching off a Dowling celebration.