ARLINGTON, Iowa - So you expected a defensive battle, huh?
Starmont and Turkey Valley indeed provided a game to remember Friday night in a battle of Class 1A top tens, but defense didn't have much to do with it. Unless you count Jake Daisy tipping away the tying two-point pass attempt with 59 seconds left that helped lift the ninth-ranked Stars to a 37-28 victory over the sixth-ranked Trojans on an uncharacteristically warm Week 7 night.
"I'll tell you what," said Starmont Coach Matt Lee. "If you had told me we had to put 37 points on the board to win this, I'd told you that you were probably foolish."
The Stars (7-0, 5-0 in District 5) didn't secure this win until Cole Cook sneaked an extra-point kick over the crossbar with 46 seconds left. That came immediately after running back Vinnie Otdoerfer's third touchdown of the night, a 48-yard run down the right sideline.
The 5-foot-4 junior speedster played his first game since being suspended the third week of the season for a violation of school policy. There was no rust apparent, as he finished with 183 yards on 26 carries.
"A little bit sore, but I feel good," Otdoerfer said. "I felt great in practice (this week). I really got back into it and stuff. Not really sluggish tonight at all."
Starmont had 1A's third-stingiest defense when it came to points allowed per game and Turkey Valley (6-1, 4-1) was fourth, but those ratings took a severe hit with this one. Starmont put up 22 second-quarter points for a 22-6 halftime edge, but TV got a pair of Jordan Mitchell touchdown runs in the fourth to pull into position for a tie.
Mitchell's 1-yard plunge made it a 30-28 game with 59 seconds left. Trojans quarterback Brady Kuennen dropped back for a pass on the two-point try and threw a quick out in the front, right corner of the end zone to Jordan Schmitt that Daisy stepped in front of an knocked away.
The Stars recovered the onside kick, leading to Otdoerfer's TD.
"We'd been practicing on film their pass plays," Daisy said. "After awhile, we kind of caught on to what they were doin. We just them down there."
TV actually outgained Starmont by a 343-301 margin. Kuennen completed 10 of 18 passes for 192 yards, taking advantage of tall wide receivers like Schmitt (6-foot-4) and Justin Bakula (6-foot-3).
"Getting Vinnie back helped," Lee said. "But this is a team game, and we won this game as a team."