Tigers notch homecoming win, face Bettendorf in quest for playoff berth

Cedar Falls took home another win on Friday night after defeating Dubuque Hempstead at the Dome 42-28. This victory, although, was a little bitter sweet. 

Junior quarterback Gavin Steege made his first career start after quarterback Hunter Jacobson suffered a torn ACL two weeks ago against Kennedy. The Tigers jumped out to an early 35-14 lead heading into halftime thanks to three receiving touchdowns from Upper Iowa commit Caeden Janssen, who tied the school record for receiving touchdowns in one game. 

Then, with 8:12 to go in the 3rd quarter, time stopped, and not just the game clock. 

As the pocket collapsed, Steege scrambled to find an open receiver before being sacked. He remained on the ground for the next 12 minutes. Tears fled from the eyes of many as trainers from both teams tended to Steege’s right leg, which had been turned the wrong way and landed on, dislocating his kneecap. 

Steege was eventually stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital to seek further medical attention. 

Steege finished the game with a phenomenal first start. He completed nine of his 11 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns along with 10 rushing yards and a touchdown. 

Wide receiver and UNI basketball commit Trey Campbell entered the game at quarterback for the Tigers and finished 2/2 for 77 yards and a touchdown. Campbell also ran eight times for 65 yards and a touchdown. 

Campbell’s touchdown came after completing a 28 yard pass to Aiden Sorensen on a 4th and 4. Aden Hanson closed out the game for the Tigers after intercepting Hempstead quarterback Noah Pettinger’s pass. 

Cedar Falls is now set to take on the Bettendorf Bulldogs this Friday at 7:15 in Bettendorf. Campbell will most likely make the start at quarterback for Cedar Falls. He’ll enter the game having completed four of his five passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns this year. 

Junior Jacob Kieler will be the man in the backfield as he continues his impressive season of 69 carries for 310 yards and four touchdowns. 

Cedar Falls now has three receivers who have surpassed the 200 yard mark this year. Campbell is now up to 25 catches for 389 yards. Janssen sits at 22 catches for 354 yards and Sorensen now has 11 catches for 205 yards. 

Ryley Barnett is currently leading the team in tackles with 39 after having 14.5 last week against Hempstead. 

Bettendorf shouldn’t be as big of an offensive powerhouse as other teams that Cedar Falls has faced this year. They’re averaging just 20.4 points per game this year and have wins over Muscatine and Davenport Central along with a forfeit from Iowa City West. 

Quarterback Christian Kautz is 51/98 with 857 and eight touchdowns this season for Bettendorf. Those 51 completions have gone to 10 different receivers. Leading the team in receiving yards for the Bulldogs is Tynan Numkena, who has 28 catches for 371 yards and four touchdowns. The Bulldogs defense is allowing just 122 rushing yards per game and is led by senior linebacker Bradley Hill who has 39.5 tackles on the year. The Tigers have the edge in turnovers this year, forcing 10 compared to the Bulldogs seven. 

These two defensive forces will go head to head Friday night at 7:15 in Bettendorf with both teams needing a win to stay in playoff contention.

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