PELLA — They are in the playoffs. Pella Christian’s Eagles lost Friday night, but so did Central Decatur.
Ogden beat Central Decatur Friday creating a three-way tie for fourth place in Class 1A, District 7. Pella Christian, Des Moines Christian and Central Decatur each finished 2-4 in district play. The tie was broken on point differential, which put the Eagles into this week’s playoffs.
The Eagles (4-5) travel to Council Bluffs to play Class 1A second-ranked St. Albert Catholic Falcons (9-0) Wednesday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“We backed into the playoffs, but our guys will be ready. Going up against St. Albert, which is a periennal state powerhouse. It will be a challenge for us,” said Rich Kacmarynski, Eagle head coach
Pella Christian lost at home Friday to Mount Ayr’s Raiders, 35-7.
“The game was a lot closer than the score indicates,” said Kacmarynski. ‘We played right with them but four turnovers and costly penalties hurt us. It was 7-7 then they scored to go up 14-7. We had a couple opportunities to tie it — once before halftime and once coming out of halftime — and we turned the ball over.”
Mount Ayr’s Cody Stackhouse blocked a Pella Christian’s Nate Haveman punt and returned it four yards for a touchdown with 7:17 left in the first quarter. The Eagles returned the favor with 57 seconds left in the period.
Freshman David Kachmarnski blocked a punt by Casey Paxson, scooped up the football and dashed 15 yards for the score. Jacob Brouwer, a junior, kicked the extra point for a 7-7 tie.
Mount Ayr scored early in the second period to take the lead. The Braves scored twice in the third quarter and added a touchdown in the fourth for the final margin.
Kacmarynski said the Eagles couldn’t keep the Raiders’ offense off the field and their ground game wore down the Eagle defense in the second half. Mount Ayr had 292 yards rushing to Pella Chrisitan’s 123 rushing yards.
The Eagles got 72 yards on 22 carries from senior Mason Howerzl and freshman Levi Jungling had 53 yards on seven carries. Colten Collins, a senior, was 6-of-16 for 88 yards passing and threw an interception.
Junior Jake De Ruiter made four receptions for 58 yards to lead the Eagle receiving corps. Jungling made one catch for 21 yards. Josh Posthuma, a junior, caught one pass for nine yards.
Senior Zach Van Zee rang up eight solo tackles and three assisted tackles for the Eagle defense. Jungling made eight unassisted tackles and one assisted stop. Senior Andrew Vander Hart had five solo stops and two assisted tackles. Kacmarynski had four solo tackls and four assisted tackles.
Collins made an interception. Van Zee and senior Zack Rozendaal each recovered a Mount Ayr fumble. Haverman punted seven times for 205 yards, a 29-yard average.