IOWA FALLS - The Iowa Central football team couldn't quite get over the hump here Saturday afternoon.
Unable to hold a late three-point lead, the Tritons (1-3 overall, 0-3 in the Midwest Football Conference) dropped a tight 14-10 defensive slugfest to long-time rival Ellsworth.
The Panthers (2-2, 1-2) scored the decisive touchdown with around 1:10 remaining in the game. On its previous drive, Iowa Central was stuffed at the goal line on 4th and inches.
"Our defense gave by far its best effort of the season, but we committed seven turnovers, so we were actually pretty fortunate to even have a chance," ICCC head coach Kevin Twait said. "We played hard, and maybe not as smart as we can, but I can't fault the effort."
Quarterback Kendall Jackson found paydirt from 12 yards out midway through the first quarter, staking the Tritons to an early lead. After Ellsworth eventually tied the contest following an Iowa Central turnover, Nathan Criswell added a 40-yard field goal in the closing stages of the opening half, pushing the Tritons back in front at the break.
Defensively, Iowa Central came up with a pair of takeaways. The Tritons also blocked a 30-yard field goal early in the final period.
"We're 1-3 now, which doesn't happen around (ICCC) very often," said Twait. "We just have to stay positive and keep trying to right the ship."
Next outing for the Tritons is Sunday when they host North Dakota Science (1-2, 1-2) for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for noon at Dodger Stadium.