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Pella Falls to Harlan in Class 3A Championship

Posted: Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 at 6:43 am

Pella fought hard but fell short in their championship bid to Harlan 35-14 in the Class 3A State championship football game yesterday at the UNI Dome. After a scoreless first quarter, Harlan exploded scoring on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter to build a 28-0 halftime lead and that proved to be the difference. The top ranked Cyclones added another score with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter to go ahead 35-0. Pella refused to give up and avoided the shutout when Brett Bogaard scored on a 2 yard run with 6:58 remaining in the game. The Little Dutch then executed a perfect onside kick which was recovered by Dekkar Lunch at Harlan’s 46 yard line and 10 plays later Blaine Forsythe connected with Josh Pringle on a 10 yard pass to pull Pella within 35-14 with 2:28 left in the game. After an unsuccessful onside kick, Pella forced Harlan to punt giving the Little Dutch one final possession. Pella drove inside Harlan’s 10 yard line and looked to be headed in for another score with just seconds remaining in the game, but on the final play a bad snap and sack resulted in a 22 yard loss to end the game. Harlan earned their 12th overall football state championship, and an unprecedented 11th for coach Curt Bladt, while denying Pella their first ever championship. Harlan racked up 479 total yards including 282 rushing while holding Pella to 56 yards rushing and 214 total yards, most of which came in the fourth quarter. Matt “Bubba” Meyers led Pella on the ground with nine carries for 37 yards, Brett Bogaard was held to just 17 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Forsythe connected on 15-26 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown and Pringle had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown while Ryan Lanke caught three passes for 29 yards. Pella finishes the season 10-4 and earned a runner up finish after upsetting four top 10 ranked teams in route to their first ever championship game. Pella loses 24 seniors from this year’s team which will leave several holes needing to be filled for next season.