Clarion-Goldfield-Dows took their 3-0 record, and #10 ranking into battle on Friday night as they hosted 4th-ranked Estherville-Lincoln Central in both teams district opener. It was the 8th meeting between the two schools, and the most anticipated one yet.
The Midgets struck first on a 22-yard touchdown run by Zavion McMurrian to put ELC in front 6-0. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows would strike back, following a Landon Olson interception, with a 1-yard touchdown run by Garrett Seaba to put the Cowboys up 7-6. ELC would then score on consecutive possessions, as big play set up a Zavion McMurrian 1-yard touchdown run, followed up by quarterback Chase Schiltz hitting Owen Larson up top for a 44-yard touchdown pass to put the Midgets up 18-7. The Cowboys struck back with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Preston Gardner to Jaxon Carpenter, to cut the score to 18-14. However, the Midgets punched in a touchdown right before half, as Chase Schiltz hit Blake Ingvall with 11 seconds to go, to give ELC a 24-14 halftime lead.
In the second half, ELC continued to turn up the meter offensively, as Chase Schiltz hit Owen Larson for a 68-yard touchdown pass to put the Midgets up 31-14. It was then the Midgets defense that turned in a big play, as Seth Busch picked up a Cale Kirstein fumble and ran it all the way back for a touchdown, putting ELC up 38-14. The Cowboys did have an answer, as Coady Olson made, perhaps the catch of the year in Iowa High School Football, catching a batted pass on his back, for a circus touchdown to put the score at 38-21. ELC would then regain control, punching in two more late touchdowns to solidify their 52-21 win.
Clarion-Goldfield-Dows dropped to 3-1 with the loss, and will travel to Pocahontas Area on Friday. Estherville-Lincoln Central moved to 3-1, and will face Class 2A #1 Southeast Valley on Friday.