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Regina Pounds Sigourney-Keota, 35-7

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Using a stingy defense and a big-play offense, Iowa City Regina pounded Sigourney-Keota, 35-7, Monday night in a Class 2A football playoff quarterfinal.

Regina quarter Jack Verducci led the big-play Regal offense with a very efficient passing attack, connecting on 4 of just 6 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns.

Zach Pechous hauled in two of the scoring strikes and said it's all about the chemistry between him and his quarterback.

"Jack and I have been playing football together since we were in fifth or sixth grade. We know how each other thinks," Pechous said.

That connection helped on the first scoring pass, a 20-yard strike that included a tap dance on the end line.

"The play was designed to go short, but the corner kept pushing me in," Pechous said. "So I took him deeper, and Jack got the ball where I could catch it. I didn't know where I was, so I just had to get my feet down."

Regina Coach Marv Cook was very happy with the victory.

"It was a beautiful night, and Sigourney was a great team," Cook said. "They are very well coached and have a great running game. We knew our defense would be challenged."

Cook said the big passing plays were a huge factor in the outcome.

"We knew they wanted to stop our running game," he said. "We thought that would open up the passing lanes. Jack had a great game throwing the ball. Zach and Daniel Larew had some great catches."

Larew had a touchdown catch of 56 yards.

Sigourney-Keota was led in rushing by all-state running back Andrew Utterback, who had 101 yards on 26 carries, including a 25-yard touchdown run with six seconds left in the game.

"Utterback is a great back. We knew what he was capable of doing," Cook said.

Next stop for the top-ranked Regals (12-0) will be the UNI-Dome against North Fayette in a semifinal next Monday at 10:30 a.m.

Regina had 309 yards of total offense. Sigourney-Keota (11-1) had 174.

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