Pella Christian holds off late charge to top Panorama

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Panorama's Blake Taylor (64) and Trent Hambleton (53) corral a Pella Christian runner during their second round game in Pella Friday. Photo courtesy Lynnea Andersen.

PELLA — Panorama tried to rally from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter Friday but were unable to complete a frantic rally in falling, 21-19, to host Pella Christian in the second round of the Class 1A postseason.

The Eagles (6-3) passed for only 35 yards in the win, but two of those resulted in touchdowns. The hosts added a score and 172 yards on 36 rushes, with the Panthers (6-3) gaining 170 yards on 35 rushes and scoring once on the ground.

Panorama quarterback Dominic Walker was held to less than half his average yardage in the air, completing 11-of-27 aerials for 131 yards and two TDs. He was intercepted twice.

Walker put the Panthers on the board first with a five-yard run in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead, with the PAT kick failing.

Eric Mulder pulled in an 8-yard TD pass from Isaac Kacmarynski later in the frame, with a Jack Fancher PAT giving the hosts a 7-6 lead.

Neither team scored in the second quarter, but the Eagles entered the fourth quarter holding a 14-6 advantage after Mulder caught a 14-yard TD strike from Kacmarynski.

Pella Christian threatened to run off with the win after Cody Boender scored on a seven-yard burst for a 21-6 Eagle edge early in the fourth quarter.

However, the Panthers were not about to yield, with Dominic Walker finding Preston Walker for a 15-yard TD. Trailing 21-12, the guests opted to try for a 2-point conversion, which failed.

Evan Taylor scored on a 14-yard pass minutes later, with a Dominic Walker PAT bringing the guests within a field goal of winning as they trailed, 21-19.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to complete the rally never materialized, and the Panthers bowed out with a 6-3 record.

Evan Taylor (3-60, 1 TD), Preston Walker (3-24, 1 TD), Drew Taylor (2-22), Lucas Leiferman (2-19), and Hunter Pauley (1-6) all caught passes for Panorama.

Dominic Walker (28-157, 1 TD), Preston Walker (5-12), Zach Rizzuti (1-4), and Pauley (1, minus-3) all had carries for the Panthers.

Trent Hambleton led the defense with 8.5 tackles, including a sack and three tackles for a loss. Pauley had six total stops, with the team making five denials for negative yards while Rizzuti intercepted a pass.

Pella Christian advances to face Van Meter (8-0), a 36-0 winner over AC/GC in the second round. The other 1A Pod C bracket line has Underwood (8-1), a 37-7 winner over Woodward-Granger, traveling to Mt. Ayr (7-1), who bested Interstate-35, 20-14. All third round and quarterfinals games start at 7 p.m. and have an $8 admission.

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