Turnovers doom No. 17 Tritons
COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — The 17th-ranked (NJCAA) Iowa Central football team had the ball in their hands trailing by two points with less than a minute left in regulation here on Saturday against Coffeyville Community College.
Two interception returns for touchdowns in the final 18 seconds turned a nail-biter into what appears at first blush to be an easy Ravens’ victory.
Al Lafleur took an interception back to paydirt, and McArthur Burnett did the same as time expired to give Coffeyville a 47-32 win.
The Tritons (1-2 overall) had staged a huge comeback to pull within 34-32 before running out of steam at the end. Kevaughn Dingle caught a pair of touchdown passes from Justin Blake — spanning 5 and 53 yards — and Luke Noonan booted a 27-yard field goal as a 34-16 deficit was trimmed to two points with 8:03 left in regulation.
Coffeyville (2-1) had four defensive touchdowns in all, recovering a fumble for a score to get things going less than a minute into the contest and also taking an interception back 65 yards to paydirt with 6:06 remaining in the second quarter. The Ravens also recorded eight sacks and forced four fumbles, recovering two.
Monta Thomas finished with 164 all-purpose yards in the victory, scoring on a 79-yard run and also on a 15-yard pass. Thomas rushed for 148 yards on only 10 carries.
Draven Peeples had 188 yards on the ground for Iowa Central, which outgained Coffeyville from the line of scrimmage, 426-353. The Tritons committed 11 penalties covering 100 yards, and had eight turnovers, though.
Dingle hauled in eight catches for 119 yards. Blake rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries, but was picked off five times.
Noonan made good on field goal tries from 47 and 27 yards out. Andrew Parchment caught an 8-yard TD pass from Blake Dever for the Tritons.
Michael Slater returned an interception 30 yards for a TD as well for Iowa Central, which led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter but trailed 27-16 by halftime.
The Tritons return to action at home on Saturday against the College of DuPage.