2nd half 009.JPG

St. Albert's Jeff Miller tackles AHSTW's Korbin Martin.

VOCA, Iowa — Nobody had played AHSTW closer than 19 points through eight weeks.

So when Council Bluffs St. Albert went to intermission with a 14-0 lead, you can imagine what was going through the Vikings’ minds.

“A couple guys, I think, maybe were having a little self-doubt, which can happen,” AHSTW coach Davis Pattee said. “I think everybody had that question. The stadium was a little silent until we got rolling in the second half there.”

After recovering what could be called a semi-onside kick, the Vikings took their first lead with 2:43 remaining on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Blake Osbahr to Drake Partridge and held on to beat St. Albert 19-14 Friday for the Class A, District 9 championship.

“You get tested about as much as you could possibly be tested,” Pattee said. “Our kids were resilient. They stayed the course. I think a lot of them found out what they were made of. Kudos to St. Albert for a terrific fight all night long.”

AHSTW (9-0, 5-0) will advance to Friday’s first round of the playoffs and play at home against an opponent to be determined Saturday morning. St. Albert (5-4, 4-1) likely will be out of the playoffs for the first time since 2014. The Falcons were hurt in part because of the new RPI system, which takes into account all games, and they were 1-3 in nondistrict play. Entering the game, AHSTW was ranked fourth in the RPI and the Falcons were 22nd.

On the field, the difference between the two wasn’t nearly that much.

“At the end of the day, I don’t feel that the best 16 teams are in the playoffs,” St. Albert coach Pat Ryan said. “Whatever system it is, I think it’s just a disservice to our kids that they don’t have the opportunity to continue the season, especially for the seniors.”

After Partridge set up the Vikings in good field position with a 14-yard interception return, AHSTW closed to 14-13 with 6:20 left in the game on Osbahr’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Korbin Martin. The kick was tipped and just short.

However, AHSTW kicker Kyle Branan banged the ensuing kickoff off a Falcon up man, and Jaedan Rasmussen recovered for the Vikings at midfield.

“It wasn’t per se a called onside,” Pattee said. “We were trying to kick a low liner, and if we could clip a kid there, we were really hoping to.”

The play of the drive came on fourth-and-8.  Osbahr, scrambling to his left, somehow found Brayton Tuma for 20 yards to keep the drive alive.

“It was supposed to be an isolation route there to Drake,” Osbahr said. “They sniffed that out pretty good, so I just rolled out trying to make a play with my feet. Then I saw Tuma and I gave him a good (ball).”

Five plays later, Osbahr hit Partridge with what proved to be the winner. St. Albert was stuffed on a quarterback sneak try on fourth-and-1 at its 45.

Late in the third quarter, St. Albert thought it had gone up 20-7. Connor Cerny appeared headed for an 11-yard touchdown run, but Joey Cunningham was ruled to have forced a fumble on the 1, and Osbahr returned it 32 yards. The St. Albert sideline felt he was well into the end zone, to no avail.

“On film it appears like we get in,” Ryan said. “It’s kind of the way that it goes. We should have been able to bounce back from it. We weren’t able to.”

While AHSTW is a senior-dominated team, St. Albert relied on an abundance of sophomores and juniors.

“We had 15 seniors get called tonight, and I think that was the big difference in the game,” Pattee said. “It wasn’t that St. Albert wasn’t talented. Maybe our guys were just a little bit more mature, had been there.”

The sting for Ryan, in his first year as the head coach, won’t fade away soon. He praised his seven seniors for their leadership.

“We lost a big class last year,” Ryan said. “I don’t think there was a lot of people that had expectations for this team, as far as being able to bounce back and do as well as we’ve done. But I tell you what, these seniors were excellent leaders since the end of the season last year. They don’t get enough recognition for that.”

CB St. Albert (5-4, 4-1) 7 7 0 0—14

At AHSTW (8-0, 5-0) 0 0 7 12—19

SA: Connor Cerny 6 run (Sam Wilber kick)

SA: Aiden Antisdel 14 pass from Lance Wright (Wilber kick)

A: Drake Partridge 40 pass from Blake Osbahr (Kyle Branan kick)

A: Korbin Martin 16 pass from Osbahr (kick blocked)

A: Partridge 13 pass from Osbahr (pass failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: SA, Lance Wright 12-49, Connor Cerny 6-20, Aiden Antisdel 8-10, Bennett Gronstal 3-4, Cy Patterson 2-0. A, Gabe Pauley 22-67, Blake Osbahr 13-35, Drake Partridge 1-17, Korbin Martin 1-(-3), Jackson Woltmann 1-(-6), team 3-(-15).

PASSING: SA, Lance Wright 14-26-1, 159 yards. A, Blake Osbahr 12-23-1, 170 yards, 3 TDs.

RECEIVING: SA, Sam Rallis 6-87, Cy Patterson 5-26, Aiden Antisdel 2-27, Jeff Miller 1-19. A, Drake Partridge 4-83, Brayton Tuma 2-41, Korbin Martin 5-37, Gabe Pauley 1-9.

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