CENTER POINT — It was a tale of two halves Friday night at Rogers Field.
The Stormin’ Pointers used some big defensive plays and a blocked punt to take a first-half seven-point lead over Dyersville Beckman.
The second half, however, was a different story as the Blazers (5-0) stormed back with some big plays to pull out a 20-14 win in a battle that featured two undefeated Class 2A Region 4 powerhouses.
The first-half hero for CPU was standout senior receiver Josh Jirak, who caught two Ryan Wilkin touchdown tosses and intercepted a Grant Hammann pass in the end zone late in the second quarter.
He also threw a 60-yard pass on a reverse as CPU was trying to rally.
“Jirak is a great player for us,” said CPU Coach Dan Burke. “He is a super kid, works hard and never complains. There aren’t too many better than him.”
The story of the second half for Beckman was big plays.
Reading a blitz, tailback Ian Ross scampered 42 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
It was his second score of the game, as he hit pay dirt from five yards in the second quarter.
The Blazers got the game-winner on a 64-yard Mitch Stege punt return late in the third quarter.
“Our special teams for the most part were good. We blocked a punt, an extra point and a field goal,” Burke said. “But the punt return hurt us. Stage is a great returner and we knew that. We tried to kick it away from him, and just couldn’t get it done.”
With the loss, the fifth-ranked Pointers fell to 4-1.
“This was a great football game, one that other than the loss, we were proud to play in,” Burke said.
“Coming in, we knew that Beckman was outstanding.”