Chickasaws top Dike-New Hartford in playoff opener
A scrambling Keagan John hit Josh Fenske on a 15-yard scoring pass with 1:09 remaining to lift New Hampton to a 21-14 victory over Dike-New Hartford in the opening round of the Class 2A state football playoffs.
"A great team effort. Really, that's the best way to put it," New Hampton coach Scott Frerichs said after his team improved to 8-2 and advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.
New Hampton will face Waukon, a 46-16 winner over Clear Lake, next Friday night.
Early on against Dike-New Hartford, New Hampton looked like it might roll to a relatively easy win on a cold, blustery and at times snowy Friday night. The Chickasaws marched 73 yards in 11 plays on its opening drive, which was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Braydon Fisher.
The Chickasaws stretched the lead to 14-0 on a Fisher 5-yard TD early in the second quarter, but the Wolverines made it interesting when Cade Fuller hauled in a 48-yard scoring pass from Drew Sonnenberg with five seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 14-6.
New Hampton's defense was brilliant in the third quarter as Mason Cleveland and Wyatt Stochl both came up with interceptions to thwart Diek-New Hartford drives; in fact, Cleveland's came on a possession that the Wolverines started at the Chickasaws' 18-yard line.
But Dike-New Hartford refused to wilt and in the fourth quarter, it converted a third-and-22 play and cut the margin to 14-12 when Sonnenberg scored from the 2-yard line with 3:34 left in the game, and when the junior quarterback hit Tim Koop on a two-point pass, the game was deadlocked.
Fisher, though, gave New Hampton a huge boost when he returned the ensuring kickoff 61 yards. New Hampton picked up a first down, but on its next set of downs faced a third-and-8.
John dropped back, was flushed from the pocket but avoided a sack before finding Fenske in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
— For more on this story, see the Oct. 31 Tribune