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Spencer defeats Bishop Heelan, 32-14; playoffs likely

Spencer defeats Bishop Heelan, 32-14; playoffs likely

Big games call for big plays.

The Spencer Tigers made those big plays when it mattered most, overcoming five turnovers to defeat the Bishop Heelan (Sioux City) Crusaders, 32-14, putting themselves in position for a playoff berth.

The Tigers finish their regular season at 7-2 and 4-1 in district play. Heelan finishes 7-2 and 3-2 in the district.


Spencer first separated itself from Heelan late in the first half when Jon Nissen forced a fumble on a Crusaders kickoff return and Darrious Green returned the ball to the end zone to put the Tigers up 19-7 with 1:38 left in the half.

Spencer took that 19-7 lead into the second half.

Spencer had ball control trouble in the first half, but capitalized where it matters.


The Tigers led 10-0 entering the second quarter. Then they caught the turnover bug.

As the Tigers were driving, Heelan intercepted a pitch and returned it 80-plus yards for a touchdown. With the PAT, the Crusaders drew to within 10-7.

On Spencer’s next drive, quarterback Gage Garnatz fumbled and Heelan recovered at the Tigers’ 45 yard line.


Spencer would put the ball on the ground and Heelan recovered a third time with 5:22 left in the second half, but the Tigers defense again prevented any further damage.

Spencer’s big plays of the second quarter began with a long 39-yard field goal by Cale Salton to put the Tigers up 13-7 with 1:48 remaining in the half.

The Tigers’ special teams then struck on the ensuing kickoff with the fumble returned for a touchdown by Green. Spencer missed the 2-point conversion attempt.


Isaiah Spencer fumbled on the Tigers’ first drive of the second half, but the Tigers’ defense held.

Heelan scored the first points of the second half with 7:07 left in the game to draw within five points, 19-14.

From there, it was all Tigers.


Michael Storey returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yard for a touchdown to put the Tigers up 25-14.

Storey would then strike again, this time on defense for an interception.

Isaiah Spencer turned the Tigers’ next drive into points with a touchdown run with 2:05 left, putting the Tigers ahead 32-14 after a PAT.


At this point, the Tigers are likely in the post season.

 


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