MARION — No. 4 Cedar Falls hasn’t done anything the pretty way this season.
The Tigers have had a number of close calls and had another one again Friday night against Linn-Mar. Cedar Falls remained unbeaten with a hard-fought 27-10 win over the Lions at Linn-Mar Stadium.
Coach Pat Mitchell’s team (5-0 overall, 3-0 in the Valley Division of the Mississippi Valley Conference) got a strong rushing effort from tailback Elijah Berregaard in the first half and was able to clamp down on the Lions (1-4, 1-2) in the second half.
The Tigers used a pair of big plays in the second quarter to grab a 13-10 halftime lead. After the Lions went up 7-0 on a 3-yard Ross Lembeck TD run early in the second quarter, the Tigers needed just two plays to draw even as Berregaard broke loose for a 61-yard scoring run.
“I was really surprised,” said the Tiger back about his scoring run. “I got the ball and I don’t think (the Lion defense) even knew where I was. I saw all that green and I just went for it.”
Cedar Falls took the lead when Brandon Corkery hauled in a 29-yard TD pass from Brayden Longnecker with 5:10 left in the first half. The 2-point pass attempt failed, leaving the Tigers up 13-7.
Linn-Mar closed the gap to 13-10 on a 38-yard Austin Wolter field goal just before the break.
The Lions were their own worst enemy in the second half. On the second play after intermission, a snap went through the hands of Lion QB Rhys Davis.
Cedar Falls pounced on the ball at the Linn-Mar 20.
Five plays later, Nicholas Clark blasted his way into the end zone to put the Tigers up, 20-10.
“That was a big break for us,” Berregaard said. “We were able to maintain control after that point.”
Linn-Mar was able to move the ball against the Tigers and drove down the field after giving up the score.
But Wolter shanked a 26-yard field goal try and the Lions never threatened again.