Jaguars fall in shootout
DIKE – Mike Swieter tried his best to keep his emotions in check as he addressed his Southeast Valley football team here Friday.
But once he embraced his son – senior fullback Aaron Swieter – the tears started to flow.
Swieter and the Jaguars had their season come to an end here in a Class 2A first-round playoff contest against No. 8 Dike-New Hartford last night, 55-29.
The Wolverines (8-2 overall) now meet Monroe-PCM next Friday in a quarterfinal. PCM bested Roland-Story, 38-7.
Dike-New Hartford all-state running back Trent Johnson placed his name atop the rushing record books in Iowa, eclipsing Levi Ferguson of North Mahaska. Johnson, a senior who has signed to wrestle at Grand View University next fall, rushed for 421 yards on 26 carries, including six touchdowns.
“He’s the real deal and they are a great team,” Swieter said. “We knew that coming in. Things would have to go perfect for us to come away with the victory. It didn’t start off well this week when we lost (starting running back) Kaleb Jondle in practice.
“And (the Wolverines) came right out and took it to us. We tried to shuffle some things around and that allowed them to gain an advantage (on the scoreboard).”
Dike-New Hartford, which has now won eight straight, posted 14 points in the first quarter before exploding for 28 in a wild second. The Jaguars (6-4) scored 22 of their own during that 12-minute stretch, but were behind by 20 at halftime.
“Our kids never quit and we knew they wouldn’t,” Swieter said. “We fought until the very end. It’s just difficult when you are trying to catch a team as talented as (Dike-New Hartford) from behind.”
Senior Nolan Brand completed 14 of 33 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns, including two 80-yard TD strikes to Dakota Jaeschke. Brand also found Nolan Johnson from 56 yards out for the first score for the Jaguars.
Jaeschke, another senior, ended his night with seven catches for 206 yards, while Johnson had five for 88. Aaron Swieter was the leading rusher in place of Jondle, carrying the ball 14 times for 90 yards and the final touchdown of the evening.
“It’s hard right now,” Swieter said. “I’ve coached these seniors for so long. It’s really tough when you have to watch your own son play his final game.
“These kids have meant so much to the Southeast Valley program. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Trent Johnson had 270 yards in the opening half, including TD runs of 75, 11 and 13 yards. He also hit the end zone on scoring jaunts of 73 and 35 yards in the third quarter as the Dike-New Hartford lead expanded to 55-22.
Cade Fuller, just a sophomore, added 69 yards passing on 5 of 6 including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Nick Dumin.
The Wolverines, who have qualified for the playoffs seven consecutive years now, have not lost since dropping a three-point decision to No. 3 (1A) Denver in Week 1 and a three-point contest to second-ranked (A) Gladbrook-Reinbeck in Week 2.
For the Jaguars, last night ended the SEV football careers for 11 players. Along with Brand, Swieter and Jaeschke, Adam Dellachiesa, Sam Berglund, Clayton Kiefer, Alex Pliner, Jaden Cline, Nick Eslick, Joel Anderson and Gordon Grossnickle, the group qualified for three straight postseasons and won 18 games.