MASON CITY, Iowa – High school football playoffs return tomorrow night for those teams who were lucky enough to advance into the second round.
One of those teams that recognizes how lucky they are – the Newman Catholic Knights.
The Knight’s trailed 21-0 at halftime last Friday against North Tama, but after a locker room pep-talk, the offense became electrically charged. The Knights outscored North Tama 31-7 in the second half to take the 31-28 win in overtime.
“It was a crazy game being down three touchdowns at halftime, let alone just the feeling of going to the locker room knowing you’re down by so much – it really puts you down,” said Brady Gatton.
But the Knights found a way to persevere.
“I feel like the key was coming out at halftime making those big plays,” said quarterback Merritt McCardle. “An interception and then we scored right after it and we kind of just kept the momentum going and it’s just history from there.”
History that teammates won’t soon forget.
“I was just freaking out,” said McCardle. “It was so fun seeing all of the fans freaking out – it was truly special.”
That win showed the Knights how fortunate they are to be playing again Friday night.
“It’s nice just playing still, I mean playoff games are fun – they’re always fun with the team, just playing with friends and stuff, it’s always a good time,” said Gatton.
The Knights, now 7-2 excluding Starmont’s forfeit, have another challenge ahead; 10-0 AHSTW at its house.
“We’ve really just been keying in on their offense because we haven’t seen it before, really trying to get their keys down, and basically just trying to keep doing what we’re doing on offense,” said McCardle.
Despite the difference in their records, Gatton says he thinks they matchup equally.
“They’re a lot like us they can rally off big plays so (we’re) just trying to limit them from getting some big, long touchdowns,” said Gatton.
The Knights depart from Newman Catholic High School at 9 AM Friday morning, and will play AHSTW, Avoca at 7 PM.
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