Badgers fall by two points to Iowa in Graphics Edge Bowl
By James Tilson
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—The Snow College football team ended its season with a hard-fought loss in the Graphic Edge Bowl, losing to No. 3 Iowa Western Reivers 19-17 last Saturday.
“They played extremely hard,” said Head Coach Paul Peterson. “I was very proud of them. I knew there was nothing left in the tank.”
The game played out as a defensive battle, with both teams struggling to put together long scoring drives. Iowa Western had a better offense for most of the day, outgaining Snow 426 yards to 368 yards. However, Snow’s defense forced two turnovers deep in Iowa Western territory that led to Badger touchdowns.
The first touchdown was set up by Noa Purcell, when he intercepted Iowa Western’s Tyrieck Starks to set up the Badgers on the Reivers’ 35-yard line. Braxton Kerr ran in for the score 7 plays later to make the score 7-6.
The second touchdown came by way of a fumble recovery by Sherwin Lavaka that put the Badgers on the Reivers 1-yard line. It took three plays, but Jaylen Warren eventually bulled in to put the Badgers ahead again, 14-13.
In the second half, neither offense could string together a long touchdown drive. Other than the Badgers’ fumble recovery, all the scoring would be field goals. Iowa Western’s next score came on a fumble recovery as well, taking possession on the Badger 31-yard line. But as it would do the whole second half, the Badger defense rose up and denied the Reivers a touchdown, and forced a field goal.
Snow was able to put together a good drive after that, going 42 yards to kick its own field goal to take back the lead, 17-16, going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams battled back and forth, not allowing any sustained drives most of the fourth quarter. Iowa Western was finally able to put together an 8-play, 60-yard drive late in the quarter to take the lead, 19-17.
Snow could not score on its next drive, but the Badger defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back with 2:39 left in the game. Kerr was able to lead the Badgers deep into Reivers territory to set up the winning field goal at the 13-yard line. But James Baird attempt went wide right, leaving only 1:35 left in the game.
Once again, the Badger defense forced Iowa Western to punt, but by that time there was only .04 seconds left in the game. The Reivers snuffed out the return, and were able to preserve their victory.
The Badgers finished the year at 8-3 and ranked No. 9 in the nation. Coach Peterson was quick to praise the leadership of his team captains. “All our captains have been fantastic. Jaylen Warren was a big key to our success. Parker Workman was the motor and energy of our defense. Sione Asi was the defensive MVP and the clog in the middle of our defense. Braxton Kerr played very well and still has plenty of time to improve.”