Comets come up short versus Tigers in OT

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Colten Parkins

GRINNELL - The start of Class 3A District 6 football competition ended in heartache for North Polk against Grinnell Friday.

A blocked extra point proved to be the difference in a 24-23 overtime loss at Grinnell.

North Polk rallied late to force the extra session. But the miscue on special teams proved costly, giving the Comets their second overtime loss of the season — falling to 1-2 overall and getting off to a 0-1 start in the district.

“We just haven’t found ways to finish the games out,” North Polk head football coach Evan Groepper said. “High school overtime is a toss-up, so it’s not an ideal situation.”

The game was knotted at 10-10 through one half of play. Neither team got on the board in the third quarter as the two defenses continued to dominate.

In the fourth quarter, Grinnell broke the scoring slump on a 1-yard Trent Miller touchdown run. But North Polk had an answer as Colten Parkins found Ryan Fausch on a 10-yard touchdown pass and Colin Swygman added the extra point to cap a 71-yard scoring drive and tie the game with just one minute, 10 seconds left in regulation.

The game went into overtime and North Polk got the ball first. Parkins hit tight end Sully Hartsook on a 5-yard touchdown pass to put North Polk up 23-17.

Grinnell was able to come back and move the ball down to the Comet 1-yard line. Smith then powered it in on his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game to even things up with the extra point pending.

Wyatt Dillon then converted the kick to win the game for the Tigers.

“It was a hard-fought game by both teams,” Groepper said. “We struggled to get in a flow on offense. Defensively, it took us a while to adjust to their new offense. But (we) tackled well and gave ourselves a chance to win.”

North Polk outgained Grinnell 332-240 in total yards. But the Comets turned the ball over three times to just once for the Tigers.

Parkins completed 17 of 29 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and he added 43 yards on the ground. Mason Russell ran for 96 yards, most of that coming on a 58-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and he also caught five passes for 53 yards.

Quinten Sommers made one 34-yard catch for North Polk. Swygman made two grabs for 30 yards, Austin McArthur had four for 29 yards, Ryan Fausch two for 25 yards and Jeff Lamp two for 24 yards.

On defense, Russell had 8.5 tackles and Caleb Lomica returned to action with 6.5 stops. Parkins and Tyler Sinclair each added 4.5 stops, Hartsook four and Erik Lackore three.

Lamp recovered a fumble for North Polk on defense. On special teams, Lamp averaged 31 yards on four punts and Swygman connected on a 21-yard field goal near the end of the first half.

Palmer Schulte carried most of the load for Grinnell (1-2, 1-0) on offense. He carried the ball 29 times for 160 yards and one touchdown. Miller was a force on defense for the Tigers, producing 8.5 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

North Polk will try to regroup and gun for an upset against Norwalk (2-1, 1-0). “Looking forward to getting back on the field against Norwalk,” Groepper said.

The Comet-Warrior game will take place at 7:30 this Friday at Alleman.

Grinnell 24, North Polk 23 (OT)

NP 7 3 0 7 6 - 23

G 10 0 0 7 7 - 24

Scoring

First quarter

G - Palmer Schulte 41 run (Wyatt Dillon kick), 8:42.

G - Dillon 31 FG, 2:24.

NP - Mason Russell 58 run (Colin Swygman kick), 1:10.

Second quarter

NP - Swygman 21 FG, 0:09.

Fourth quarter

G - Trent Miller 1 run (Dillon kick), 7:01.

NP - Ryan Fausch 10 pass from Colten Parkins (Swygman kick), 1:10.

Overtime

NP - Sully Hartsook 5 pass from Parkins (kick blocked).

G - Miller 1 run (Dillon kick).

Team statistics NP G

First downs 14 10

Rushes-yards 29-142 47-240

Passing 17-29-1 0-3-0

Passing yards 190 0

Total yards 332 240

Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-1

Punts-average 4-31.0 5-38.0

Penalties-yards 5-37 4-30

Individual statistics

Rushing: NP - Mason Russell 15-96, Colten Parkins 7-43, Ryan Fausch 2-4, Jeff Lamp 5-(-1). G - Palmer Schulte 29-160, Alex Farmer 4-16, Trent Miller 5-15, Tanner Strand 6-13, Bryson Cline 3-10.

Passing: NP - Parkins 17-29-1-190. Strand 0-3-0-0.

Receiving: NP - Russell 5-53, Quinten Sommers 1-34, Colin Swygman 2-30, Fausch 2-25, Lamp 2-24, Austin McArthur 4-29, Sully Hartsook 1-5.

Tackles: NP - Russell 8.5, Caleb Lomica 6.5, Parkins 4.5, Tyler Sinclair 4.5, Hartsook 4, Erik Lacore 3. G - Corbin Cline 9, Miller 8.5, B. Cline 6.5, Quaid Pinkerton 6, Schulte 5.5.

Sacks: G - Nick Popp.

Fumble recoveries: NP - Lamp. G - Miller 2.

Interceptions: G - Miller.