Once again, the Spencer Tigers defense came up big.
On a fourth and goal with about six minutes to play in the fourth, the Tigers turned away the Norwalk Warriors Friday night, then ran out the clock to win 24-20 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Spencer moves on to the second round, where it will travel to Sergeant Bluff-Luton in a rematch. Spencer fell to Sergeant Bluff 24-20 in the regular season.
Isaiah Spencer got the Tigers on the board first on a first and goal run at the 7:43 mark of the first quarter.
Norwalk responded on Christian Nicholson’s 19-yard touchdown run with 5:23 to go in the first to tie the game.
Isaiah Spencer scored again in the second quarter, this time on a fourth and goal run. The PAT put the Tigers on top 14-7.
But Norwalk responded immediately on a kickoff returned for a touchdown. The PAT was no good, though, leaving the score 14-13.
Spencer kicker Cale Salton drilled a 25-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 17-13.
That was the last score of the first half.
In the second half, Norwalk took the lead on a 12-yard run by Max Sutcliffe. The PAT put the Warriors up 20-17.
Norwalk appeared to be gaining momentum when Spencer senior Michael Storey snagged his fourth interception of the season.
Later in the Tigers’ ensuing drive, Isaiah Spencer again turned a fourth and goal into a touchdown. After the PAT, the Tigers led 24-20 late in the third quarter.
Norwalk looked as though it would go back on top with about six minutes left to play, but the Spencer defense came up huge with a stop on a fourth and goal from Spencer’s one yard line.
Spencer was then able to keep the ball moving enough to run out the clock.
The Tigers will play Sergeant Bluff-Luton in Sergeant Bluff next Friday at 7 p.m. in the second round of the playoffs.