Number two Albia withstood the air raid by #12 Mid-Prairie Monday night and knocked the Golden Hawks out of the playoffs with a second round win 26-16 in Albia. Both teams scuffled on their opening possessions, fumbling the ball away. On Mid-Prairie’s second possession Shadow Leshen picked off Reid Miller at the Albia 35 and the Blue Demons marched down the field on the back of all district tailback Adam Schultz. Schultz carried the ball a half dozen times on the drive and atoned for his earlier fumble when he scored on a 13 yard touchdown run to put Albia up 7-0.
Mid-Prairie quickly went three and out on their next possession and Albia took over on the 50. The Blue Demons went back to the ground game pounding away at the Golden Hawks defense. Quarterback Brett Leshen capped the drive with a one yard sneak for touchdown to double the Albia lead. Following another Mid-Prairie punt Albia drove to the Golden Hawk 40 and faced a fourth and five. The Blue Demons opted to go for it and aired it out, as Leshen found Zach Hugen in the endzone to make it 20-0 with just under three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Mid-Prairie offense would get on track on their next drive, putting up points when Reid Miller found Zach Schwartz on a seven yard fade in the corner of the endzone capping a 75 yard drive to make it 20-7. The Mid-Prairie defense forced the first Albia punt on the next possession and Mid-Prairie took over at their 20 with just under a minute to play in the half. The Hawks marched the ball to the Albia 31 with five seconds remaining to set up a 48 yard Austin Errthum field goal attempt. Errthum drilled the kick to cut the Albia lead in half going into the locker room at 20-10.
Mid-Prairie defensive adjustments at the half slowed down the Albia running game in the third quarter but the Hawks were unable to get anything going offensively, ending the third period still trailing 20-10. Midway through the fourth quarter the Blue Demons drove into Mid-Prairie territory and faced a fourth and four. Leshen took the snap with play action dropped back to throw catching the Mid-Prairie secondary playing the run. Golden Hawk defensive lineman Dylan Schrock drilled Leshen as he let the ball go but he lofted it over the Mid-Prairie defense into the waiting arms of Hugen in the endzone for the score. Mid-Prairie blocked the extra point, their second of the night, to keep it a two score game at 26-10.
After trading punts Mid-Prairie took over in hurry up mode with five minutes left at their own 11. The Hawks would drive 89 yards in two and a half minutes, including a key fourth down conversion and ended with drive points as Miller found Spencer Shalla on a fade on third and goal to make the score 26-16. Mid-Prairie’s two point conversion play was a screen pass that was stopped inside the one yard line and the ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by Albia, effectively ending the game.
Mid-Prairie had a tough time getting anything going on the ground as Reid Miller and Eesaa Baylor combined for 15 carries on the night netting just 21 yards. Through the air Miller rewrote the Golden Hawk record books for game, season and career. Miller was 29 of 43 through the air for 267 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. His 29 completions are the most in a single game in school history, his 267 yards are in the top five for a single game in school history. Miller entered Monday night needing just 100 yards throwing to set the school single season and career records for passing yards, accomplishing both of those feats. With the loss Mid-Prairie says goodbye to 14 seniors and ends their season at 8-3. Albia advances to host Mediapolis in a battle of unbeatens in the quarterfinals on Friday night.
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