David City football traded three scores with Hartington Cedar Catholic but came up short for the first time this season when the Scouts failed to execute on special teams.
David City fell behind 7-0, 14-6 and 20-12, answered every Hartington Cedar Catholic touchdown with one of its own but missed the extra point after the first score of the game and was chasing that point the rest of the night.
The Scouts failed on two two-point tries after the missed kick and lost for the first time this season in a 20-18 final on Friday in Hartington.
Clayton Denker had another big game with 124 yards rushing on 16 carries, one touchdown and a long of 45 yards, Alex Rachow led defensively with nine tackles, five solo, and the Scout defense limited the Trojans to just 104 yards rushing but it wasn't enough to avoid David City dropping to 3-1.
The Scouts will now have to regroup and prepare for unbeaten and Class C-2 No. 7 Shelby-Rising City on the road Friday night.
"The team battled through adversity and had chances to give up, but they refused to," coach Robert Evans said. "I am extremely proud of how they battled to the end."
Hartington Cedar Catholic opened the scoring on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Tate Thoene to Charlie Schroeder and took a 7-0 lead. David City answered back with a 1-yard plunge by Jordan Kracl. Moments later, perhaps the defining play of the night, the Scouts missed the extra point and trailed 7-6.
The Trojans added to their slim advantage with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Thoene to Connor Vlach in the second quarter. Again, David City answered. This time when quarterback Dylan Vodicka found Hunter Behrns for a 44-yard catch and run to the end zone.
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The Scouts trailed 14-12 when the two-point try was unsuccessful.
It remained that way until the third quarter when Easton Becker capped a Hartington Cedar Catholic drive with a 5-yard run. Despite the score, David City had new life when HCC missed a PAT of its own.
The Scouts found the end zone on Denker's 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter but again failed on the two-point conversion.
The DC defense came through with a big stop after the touchdown, but the offense was halted on a fourth-down play and Hartington Cedar Catholic ran out the rest of the clock.
Another major factor in the contest was the Scouts' 1 for 9 mark on third down and eight penalties. David City won the turnover battle 2-1 and had a slight edge in total yards, 216 to 209.
"We would have liked to have had the opportunity to run or throw the ball on third down, but the CC defense had the advantage by putting us into third-and-long," Evans said. "We had to move some players around into different positions, and the team did a nice job adjusting.
"I was proud of how the team played through adversity."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.