Memorable season ends in state semis for Algona
OABCIG, DeJean top Bulldogs
CEDAR FALLS – Cooper DeJean put on a one-man show here Saturday evening in the Class 2A state semifinals, leading OABCIG to the first championship game in school history.
DeJean, a junior, threw for 357 yards and ran for another 79, accounting for five touchdowns in a 41-32 victory for the Falcons over Algona inside the UNI-Dome.
OABCIG (12-0 overall) will face either Waukon or Williamsburg for the state title back here on Friday. Those two teams met in the late game Saturday night.
For the Bulldogs (11-1), they end the season in the semifinals for the first time since 1984. Algona reached the quarterfinals last year before falling to Waukon.
“It was just an incredible experience,” Algona all-stater senior Wyatt Wegener said. “It felt like everybody was on top of you. I wish we could have given the Algona fans more to cheer about, but it was a great game and credit to OABCIG for being a great team.”
DeJean, who came into the contest with almost 2,900 yards passing and over 1,000 yards rushing, made big play after big play. He was also a key member of the Falcon defense, which found ways to get stops when they needed to.
“We knew Cooper was a great athlete both in basketball and football,” Wegner said. “They do a great job of scheming the offense around him.”
Algona’s Tyler Manske, a first-year starter, threw for 300 yards. The sophomore had two passing touchdowns and completed 23 passes to seven different players.
Wegener ran for 92 yards and caught 12 passes for 138 yards with a touchdown. Sammonte Bawden had two total touchdowns and 67 yards, with Garrett Schmidt running for 76 and catching two passes for 54.
“These kids gave it their all,” Algona head coach Andy Jacobson said. “We had a couple chances there to really get back into it, but we weren’t able to capitalize.”
Wegener was one of several seniors who have helped turn the Bulldog program around. Just four years ago, Algona went winless, a memory still in the mind of Wegener, as that was his brother’s senior season.
“From that to where we are now, it just really means a lot,” Wegener said. “We’ve always had great senior leadership each year and hopefully we have set the underclassmen up for the future by doing that too.”
As expected, there were plenty of fireworks right from the start. The two teams, who entered each averaging over 40 points a game, combined for 41 points, 22 first downs and over 400 total yards in the opening half.
Algona scored on three of its first four possessions in the opening 24 minutes, putting together scoring drives of 12, 13 and 12 plays. Wegener had 80 yards rushing in the first half and Schmidt added 62 more.
Over the final 24 minutes, Manske helped Algona crawl back into it, throwing for almost 200 yards.
“It was a heck of a season and that was a great game,” Wegener said. “It was awesome competing here in this environment.”
For the Falcons, Easton Harms caught 13 passes for 188 yards, with Jake Nieman catching four for 107.
Patrick David, Noah Nelson and Bawden all had interceptions for the Bulldogs, with Collin Murphy recording a sack.
First Downs 28 18
Rushes-Yards 43-246 21-84
Passing 300 357
Comp-Att-Int 23-39-3 21-33-3
Total Offense 546 441
Punts-Avg. 5-42.4 4-42.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 14-100 4-35
Algona 6 14 6 6- 32
OABCIG 7 14 14 6- 41
OABCIG – Griffin Diersen (1-yard run), 10:28 left in first. Caden Wareham kick.
Algona – Garrett Schmidt (1-yard run), 4:58 left in first. Kick failed.
Algona – Wyatt Wegener (2-yard run), 7:05 left in second. Isaac Schonert kick.
OABCIG – Cooper DeJean (4-yard run), 5:53 left in second. Wareham kick.
Algona – Jason Cecil (5-yard pass from Tyler Manske), 1:02 left in second. Schonert kick.
OABCIG – Jake Nieman (58-yard pass from DeJean), :20 left in second. Wareham kick.
OABCIG – Nieman (30-yard pass from DeJean), 7:32 left in third. DeJean run.
Algona – Sammonte Bawden (43-yard run), 3:59 left in third. Conversion failed.
OABCIG – Easton Harms (4-yard pass from DeJean), 2:49 left in third. Conversion failed.
OABCIG – Harms (22-yard pass from DeJean), 11:20 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Algona – Bawden (5-yard pass from Manske), 4:33 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Rushing — Algona: Wyatt Wegener 13-92, Garrett Schmidt 16-76, Sammonte Bawden 5-62, Tyler Manske 8-10, Elliott Berkland 1-6. OABCIG: Cooper DeJean 11-79, Griffin Diersen 3-4, Easton Harms 1-2, Carson Godbersen 4-1, Team 2-(minus-2)
Passing — Algona: Tyler Manske 23-39-3-300. OABCIG: Cooper DeJean 21-33-3-357.
Receiving — Algona: Wyatt Wegener 12-138, Garrett Schmidt 2-54, Trevon Smith 2-32, Noah Nelson 3-25, James Wartick 1-24, Jason Cecil 2-16, Sammonte Bawden 1-5. OABCIG: Easton Harms 13-188, Jake Nieman 4-107, William Grote 3-57, Cameron Sharkey 1-5.