Spencer defeats Bishop Heelan, 32-14; playoffs likely

Spencer defeats Bishop Heelan, 32-14; playoffs likely
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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.

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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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