Déjà vu: Tigers fall to Xavier again, knocked out in semi-final round

Senior Brandon Corkery consoles senior Jacob Newton after getting knocked out of the playoffs.

Déjà vu struck the football team Friday night. For the second year in a row the Tigers made an early exit from the playoffs in the State Semi-Finals. The Cedar Falls football team dropped their State Semi-Final game to Cedar Rapids Xavier 27-6. The playoff loss caps the Tiger season at 11-2, with both defeats coming at the hands of Cedar Rapids Xavier in the UNI-Dome. The Saints have earned themselves a trip to the State Championship game.

“We wanted to win that game real bad. It was tough for the seniors to go out like that. But at the same time, there are more important things than football,” senior Jackson Nichols said.

The Tigers started strong when senior runningback Jake Buck broke away from the pack and went 80 yards to the house on the first play from scrimmage. From there, everything was down hill.

Cedar Falls dug themselves a hole. Five turnovers and over 80 yards in penalties is a tough deficit to overcome. But that wasn’t the last of the Tiger struggles. Senior runningback Jake Buck left the game in the first half with a concussion, he would not return. Without Buck, junior Eli Berregaard and senior Nick Clark were forced to carry the majority of the load for the Tiger ground game. “When Buck got hurt we lost that explosive play-making back that Buck brings to the table. He had done a great job for us all season, and throughout the first half of the game as well,” senior Kevin Bernard said.

Senior offensive linemen Hayden Shea suffered a possible torn ACL late in the second half, creating a laundry list of problems for the Tigers.

The Tigers return lots of starters next season, including two first team All-Conference players, Jared Farley and Ross Pierschbacher. “If I had to say anything to next year’s varsity team it’s don’t listen to the hype. A lot of people talked our team down, but you gotta use that energy to hit the weights and put in work during the off-season so you can be the best you can,” Nichols said.

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