(Photos by Zach Jevne)
Manson-NW Webster got on the board first with a field goal on its first drive. The Rebels put the ball on the ground with their first possession but MNW couldn't capitalize. The first quarter ended 3-0.
The Cougars (3-3, 2-1) got in the endzone early in the second quarter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Alex Busch to Caleb Wubben for a 10-0 lead.
Sioux Central got its offense going following the Cougar score, driving 81 yards on 18 plays, including converting three 4th-downs. The drive was capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Devin Tripp. The conversion failed as the Rebels cut the lead to 10-6 with 48 seconds left in the half.
"Our lineman linemen did a nice job and controlled the line of scrimmage," Sioux Central coach Brandon Goodchild said. "But we kind of shot ourselves in the foot in too many situations and had too many penalties again, things we have to eliminate if we want to win these games."
MNW wasn't finished in the half, as they brought the kickoff out to the 45-yard-line and needed just two plays to get into the endzone. Busch connected with Brody Eischeid on a 23-yard touchdown to push the lead to 17-6 at half.
"That was a huge play for them," Goodchild said. "Eischeid is an explosive player and can score at any time in the game. We didn't do a good enough job of containing their big plays."
Despite the momentum heading into halftime, Manson stumbled in the third quarter. The Cougars snapped the ball over their punter's head and Tim Saunders would recover in the endzone for the first Rebel score of the third quarter and Nathan Leer scored on an 18-yard run following a MNW fumble to take the lead, 20-17.
Manson NWW would answer with a 4-yard touchdown run to regain the lead at the end of the quarter. They would add another touchdown pass to Wubben after recovering a Rebel fumble and increase the lead to 30-20 early in the fourth quarter.
Sioux Central wouldn't go quietly as they drove methodically down the field on a 16-play drive, capped by a Tripp TD run with 4:47 left in the game to make it 30-26.
With Manson attempting to run out the clock, the Cougars converted a 4th-down attempt at midfield with under two minutes to play. A late fumble by MNW allowed the Rebels one final shot, as they recovered with 1:24 remaining in the game. A Parker Habben desperation heave was intercepted to end the game.
Sioux Central rushed for a total of 228 yards, including 138 and two touchdowns from Tripp on 36 carries. Leer carried 12 times for 51 yards and a touchdown. Habben rushed 13 times for 52 yards, and was 3-of-7 for 35 yards and the late interception.
Sioux Central falls to 2-4 on the season and 1-3 in district play. The Rebels will face Okoboji in Milford next Friday in a non-district game.