COUNCIL BLUFFS — Somehow, it happened again.
For the second time in less than a week, No. 7 Lewis Central found a way to win a Class 3-A playoff game in the fourth quarter after its offense had done very little in the first three.
The Titans (9-2) trailed Carroll 19-7 entering the final period before getting a punt block by Nick Sulentic and two touchdown passes from Austin Simmons to pull out a 22-19 thriller at Titan Stadium.
The Tigers (4-7) had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but a field-goal attempt from 29 yards out by Keith Wiederien sailed wide to the right. He had hit two previous tries from inside the 30.
L.C. finished with minus-2 rushing yards and was outgained by Carroll 339-155 in total yards.
“I don't have any explanation for anything right now,” Titan coach Jim Duggan said. “Our team is resilient. And we're not done. We're going to the quarterfinals.”
L.C., which edged Le Mars 21-14 last Wednesday, will travel to Sioux City to meet No. 5 Heelan (10-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Until the final 10 minutes, it seemed that the Tigers would be making that trip.
Carroll held the Titans to 15 total yards through the middle two quarters and moved in front 19-7 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Nate Johnston in the closing seconds of the third period.
Simmons, who was sacked four times and pressured all night by the Tigers, connected with Luke Harrison for a 25-yard score to make it 19-14 with eight minutes left.
The Titan defense then forced a punt. Sulentic got a piece of Cody Netusil's kick to give L.C. the ball at the Carroll 32.
Five plays later, Simmons found Mark Savage down the middle for the 20-yard game-winner with 4:26 left.
“Our team has a lot of character,” Simmons said. “We don't stop fighting until the end.”
Carroll (4-7) .................. 10 3 6 0—19
At Lewis Central (9-2) .................. 7 0 0 15—22
LC: Mitchell Brinkman 9 pass from Austin Simmons (Caleb Shudak kick)
C: Anthony Beyerink 11 run (Keith Wiederien kick)
C: FG Wiederien 26
C: FG Wiederien 25
C: Nate Johnston 1 run (kick failed)
LC: Luke Harrison 25 pass from Simmons (Shudak kick)
LC: Mark Savage 20 pass from Simmons (Simmons run)