Black Hawk's Cayden Milz had a key fumble recovery to help the Warriors to victory
It was a rough go for both teams early in the Division 7 state championship game, as Edgar and Black Hawk each put the ball on the ground a number of times. While the mistakes continued throughout the contest for Edgar, the Black Hawk Warriors cleaned up their act in a big way and dominated the second half en route to a 22-15 victory.
It was an inauspicious start for Edgar, who turned the ball over on its first play of the game when quarterback Karson Butt fumbled. It was the first of five fumbles on the day for the Wildcats, who lost three of them and also muffed a punt but recovered.
Three plays after that first turnover, Black Hawk running back Mitchell Quinn took a simple dive play up the middle for a 44-yard touchdown, as the Warriors led 8-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Despite yet another fumble, Edgar would score on its next possession when Butt went in for a four yard touchdown, pulling the Wildcats into an 8-8 tie.
Edgar would go ahead 15-8 a few minutes later when Butt found Handrick for a four yard score.
After drives that accounted for 127 yards in the first quarter, Edgar would go the wrong direction the rest of the way, as the final six drives of the game covering the second, third, and fourth quarters would result in minus-10 yards.
Black Hawk had its share of problems early, fumbling four times (though none resulted in turnovers) and throwing an interception in the first half. However, after tossing a second interception on the first play of the third quarter, the Warriors were mistake-free the rest of the way.
An 18-play, 63-yard drive took 9:54 of the clock in the third quarter for Black Hawk, and was culminated when Kyle Lovelace went in for a one-yard touchdown, as the successful two-point conversion put the Warriors on top 22-15.
Edgar couldn't get out of its own way in the final three quarters. The Wildcats' final six drives went for six, minus-23, minus-17, four, minus-five, and 25 yards. Edgar only had the ball three times in the second half, and perhaps fittingly, their final drive ended on an unforced fumble on a play that would have given the team a first down.
Uncharacteristically, Edgar had five fumbles (three lost), muffed a punt but fell on it, turned the ball over on a failed fake punt, and dropped a pair of open passes that would have resulted in first downs.
Black Hawk's Colby Argall ground out 109 yards on 34 carries despite three fumbles (none lost). Kyle Lovelace had 75 yards on 15 carries while Mitchell Quinn added 75 yards as well. All three runners had one rushing touchdown.
It is the second state title for Black Hawk, last year's runner-up, in their fourth championship game appearance, as they also took home a gold ball in 2013.
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