Your Prep Sports
CEDAR FALLS – It took less than two quarters for the Class A championship matchup that many waited all season for to turn in to a Regina rout.
Third-ranked Regina (11-1) broke open a tie game with 24 second-quarter points and cruised to its first state title since 2015 with a 52-21 win over top-ranked Grundy Center (11-1) on Thursday afternoon at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
Theo Kolie rushed for a Class A title game record five touchdowns, Ashton Cook passed for 325 yards and two scores and Alec Wick set a title game record with 226 receiving yards as Regina won its eighth state title and seventh in the past 11 seasons.
“It’s like a storybook ending,” Wick said. “Four years of blood, sweat and tears and we put it all into tonight and it’s a great feeling to celebrate here with these guys.”
An anticipated showdown between Regina’s explosive offense and a stingy Grundy Center defense was dominated by the Regals from the outset.
Regina rolled up a Class A title game record 523 yards of total offense and matched the most points ever in a Class A championship against a Grundy Center defense that enter the title game holding opponents to 4.9 points and 154 yards of offense per game.
“We played our best football down the stretch here,” Regina coach Marv Cook said. “The last two weeks we have played really, really well here.”
Kolie had touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 5 yards in the second quarter as Regina turned an early 7-7 tie into a 31-7 halftime advantage.
After going 3-and-out on its opening possession Regina scored on its final five drives of the opening half to take control of the game.
That stretched featured second-quarter touchdown drives of 48, 25 and 69 yards that all ended with Kolie touchdown runs.
“We got those two big plays and we just kept the momentum going,” Kolie said. “We came back and just pounded and pounded and pounded. That was the saying we were going by.”
Regina took the lead for good when Wick booted a 22-yard field goal with 9:27 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff Jack Clark recovered an onside kick by Wick to give Regina the ball at the Spartan 48.
“We saw it on film and we thought we might have a chance at it, Alec Wick is an incredible soccer player and he hit it about perfect,” Cook said. “He does it every day in practice and we figured why keep it in the bag when you have something that good and he executed it perfectly.”
Regina needed just five plays and 78 seconds to turn the onside kick into points and took a 17-7 lead when Kolie scored on a 1-yard run with 8:05 left in the first half.
“For us to be able to keep the ball out of their hands offensively and be able to go down and score and double up the score at that point it was enormous for us,” Cook said. “That really created some momentum and with high school kids excitement and enthusiasm can kind of snowball and I think that’s what kind of happened.”
The Regina defense set up the Regals with another short field creating a turnover on the ensuing Grundy Center possession.
Kolie came untouched off the edge on a blitz and hit Grundy Center quarterback Logan Knaack forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jack Tierney.
“I saw the end just crash down and I just said ‘oh thank you’,” Kolie said. “The quarterback was taking his time and as soon as he put his hand up I just went for the ball and JT made a great recovery.”
Kolie scored his third touchdown of the game six plays later on a 1-yard run.
The senior running back then capped a nine-play, 69-yard scoring march with a 5-yard touchdown run that put Regina up 31-7 at the break.
Regina continued its offensive onslaught after halftime pushing the lead to 52-14 less than four minutes into the fourth quarter.
After going 3-and-out on its first possession Regina scored on eight of its next nine possessions and finished seven of those drives with touchdowns.
“They were known for having a really good defense and were holding teams to four points a game but everything was clicking,” Ashton Cook said. “Our timing was down, we could run the ball, we could pass the ball I thought we executed really well.’
Kolie rushed for 124 yards as Regina churned out 209 yards on the ground and Cook finished 17-of-24 passing for 325 yards and tossed second-half scoring strikes to Carson Jensen and Wick.
“I thought we played really well,” Kolie said. “Overall there is no better way to end the season than with a state title so I am very grateful.”
As the Regina offense ran wild the defense made things difficult for Grundy Center.
Grundy Center entered averaging 296 rushing yards per game after rolling up 420 yards on the ground in a semifinal win but could muster just 36 yards on 22 carries on Thursday.
“I thought Regina was incredibly physical today,” Grundy Center coach Travis Zajac said. “They were probably the most physical team we have run into this season and we struggled a little bit with that at the line of scrimmage.”
First Downs 22 15
Rushes-yards 44-209 22-36
Comp-Att-Int 17-24-0 13-27-1
Passing yards 325 262
Total yards 534 298
Punts-avg. 3-40.3 4-46.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 10-111 1-5
Regina 7 24 7 14 – 52
Grundy Center 7 0 7 14 – 28
ICR – Theo Kolie 2 run (Wick kick)
GC – Cole Lehr 2 pass from Logan Knaack (Colin Gordon kick)
ICR – Wick 22 field goal
ICR – Kolie 1 run (Wick kick)
ICR – Kolie 1 run (Wick kick)
ICR – Kolie 5 run (Wick kick)
ICR – Carson Jensen 12 pass from Ashton Cook (Wick kick)
GC – Knaack 1 run (Colin Gordon kick)
ICR – Kolie 4 run (Wick kick)
ICR – Wick 88 pass from Cook (Andew Deninger kick)
GC – Knaack 6 run (Gordon kick)
GC – Nick Ascher 65 pass from Knaack (Gordon kick)
RUSHING – Regina: Theo Kolie 29-124, Ashton Cook 9-42, Alec Wick 1-42, Chris Waikel 1-4, Gentry Dumont 1-3, Levi Quinlan 1-1, Danny Gavin 1-(-2), Team 1-(-5). Grundy Center: Cole Lehr 6-22, Zach Opheim 3-10, Logan Knaack 13-4.
PASSING – Regina: Ashton Cook 17-24-0 325. Grundy Center: Logan Knaack 13-27-1 262.
RECEIVING – Regina: Alec Wick 9-226, Theo Kolie 3-24, Levi Quinlan 2-53, Sam Aitchison 2-10, Carson Jensen 1-12. Grundy Center: Nick Ascher 8-214, Dexter Whitehill 3-44, Austin Betts 1-2, Cole Lehr 1-2.