NEWELL - A potential dream season and trip to the UNI-Dome for the state semifinals came to a stunning end for top-ranked (eight-man) Newell-Fonda Friday night.
Leading 32-20 entering the fourth quarter in a quarterfinal contest with No. 7 Marcus-MMC, the Mustangs were caught from behind at the very end as MMC celebrated a 42-38 triumph to advance to Cedar Falls.
Marcus-MMC (12-0 overall) will face Exira-EHK (12-0) in a semifinal on Thursday in Cedar Falls.
The Mustangs (11-1) jumped out to an early 18-8 advantage following a second Brady Bohe score in the first quarter. Jonathan Johnson's second quarter touchdown from 29 yards out pushed the Newell-Fonda lead to 32-14 with five minutes to go in the second quarter.
Johnson finished with 128 yards on 12 carries, while Zak Sievers added 182 yards passing and 111 yards rushing. Bohe added another 96 as N-F racked up over 500 yards of total offense.
The Eagle defense took advantage of a Mustang turnover, falling on a loose ball for a touchdown. Newell-Fonda led 32-20 at the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, as the Mustang defense stopped MMC on fourth-and-1 from the 1-yard line.
The Eagles went ahead 34-32 with 2:31 left in the game, but Newell-Fonda answered back with another Johnson score, taking a 38-34 lead with just 45 seconds left.
Tanner Utesch, Marcus-MMC's senior quarterback, tossed a 30-yard TD strike to provide the winning score, sending the Eagles to the UNI-Dome for the first time in school history.
Prior to this season, Marcus-MMC owned zero postseason wins. They have qualified for the playoffs four previous times.
The other semifinal will feature Murray (12-0) battling Don Bosco (11-0). Both games are the first ones to take the field on Thursday.
Friday marked the final high school game for Newell-Fonda's Sievers, Jake Hahn, Johnathan Johnson, Rigo Johnson, Luis Cardenas, Tom Devereaux, Billy Leek and Matt Julifs. They were part of 29 wins and three playoff berths over the past three seasons.