Pella saw their five game win streak and District Title hopes slip away with a 17-14 loss at Winterset to close the regular season last night.
Pella took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 10 yard toss from Josh DeWaard to Dan Langenfeld capping an impressive 93 yard drive and were able to hold that lead into halftime thanks to an impressive defensive performance holding the Huskies to just 35 first half yards.
Winterset’s lone offensive score came in the third quarter on a 33 yard field goal, but it was the Husky defense that stole the show in the fourth quarter. With Pella leading 7-3 the Husky defense turned back to back Pella turnovers into touchdowns, a 50 yard interception return, and a fumble in the end zone, and all the sudden Winterset claimed a 17-7 lead with five minutes remaining in the game.
Refusing to go down easy, Pella closed within three on a run by DeWaard with under three minutes to play. Following an unsuccessful onside kick attempt, the Pella defense forced a three and out giving the offense one last shot to tie or win.
With no timeouts and only 90 seconds to work with, Pella took over at their own 10 yard line. Three quick plays later they were at midfield with momentum, however the Huskies forced yet another turnover recovering a Pella fumble to end the game.
Pella outgained the Huskies in total offense 303-102 and the defense held the district’s leading rusher to just 40 yards while only allowing a field goal, but it still resulted in a loss. Coach Jay McKinstrey says that’s tough to swallow. “This is a hard loss for the kids,” McKinstrey said. “They worked really hard. I feel like we outplayed them tonight. I feel like the better team tonight didn’t win, and that makes it more difficult when you feel like you played better than they did, and a couple big plays hurt you a lot.”
With the win Winterset claimed the Class 3A District 8 title, while Pella settles for second ending the regular season 6-3 overall and 5-1 in district. Pella will be home to open the Class 3A playoffs Wednesday night when they host Keokuk with kickoff at 7pm.