CEDAR FALLS—Bishop Garrigan held off late rallies by Bedford and claimed the 8-Man State Football Championship Thursday morning at the UNI-Dome with a 39-30 victory.
Led by 191 yards in total offense from Tate Foertsch, the Golden Bears held a 16-14 halftime edge and a 31-14 lead in the fourth quarter they never surrendered, though Bedford stayed in hot pursuit.
Foertsch was 7-10 passing for 109 yards with TD passes to Justin Bauer and Drew Lappe. Foertsch also rushed for 82 yards on 11 carries.
Caden Roethler plowed his way to 106 yards on 25 carries.
Andrew Lichter led Bishop Garrigan with 8 tackles. Bauer had seven tackles and added three pass break-ups on defense. Roethler added six tackles.
Here is a link to all of the game stats: https://www.iahsaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/FB-23-8pcg.htm
The Golden Bears entered the playoffs at 7-1 and were unranked despite losing only their season-opener on the road to St. Edmond and winning their district. In the playoffs, they finished the season by taking down previouly unbeaten and fifth-ranked Remsen-St. Mary's, third-ranked and previously unbeaten CAM of Anita, and second-ranked and previously unbeaten Bedford.
Bedford kicked off the scoring on a 40-yard run by Silas Walston. Garrison Motsinger ran the conversion and Bedford led 8-0 with 6:16 left in the first quarter. The drive was five plays for 60 yards.
Foertsch found Bauer for a 40-yard scoring pass with 3:50 left in the first. Roethler ran in the two-pointer and it was knotted at 8-8. The drive was five plays and 65 yards.
BG took the lead for good with 8:05 left in the second quarter on a 24-yard run by Foertsch. Sam Plathe passed to Benjy Trainer for the two-pointer and it was 16-8 after a four-play, 40-yard drive.
Bedford scored with 13 seconds remaining before half on a Conner Nally one-yard run, but the two-point try failed and it was 16-14 at the half. The TD ended a 13-play, 63-yard drive.
Garrigan made it 24-14 with 4:54 left in the third quarter when Foertsch hooked up with Lappe on a 16-yard TD pass. Lappe ran the PAT, capping a 13-play, 65-yard drive that consumed 7 minutes and 6 seconds of game clock.
With 9:08 left in the game, Ethan Marso ran for two yards and a score and Lappe kicked the extra point to make it 31-14. That drive was 12 plays and 63 yards and consumed another 6:18 of the clock.
Bedford scored just two minutes later on a Nally pass to Motsinger for 11 yards. The two-point pass was good and it was 31-22 with 7:08 reminaing. Teh drive was nine plays and 58 yards.
But the Golden Bears essentially put the game out of reach with an eight-play, 31-yard drive that used up 3 minutes, 41 seconds. Roethler ran the ball for a five-yard score, and Bauer caught a two-point pass from Foertsch to make it 39-22 with 3:24 remaining.
Bedford scored with 1:34 left in the game on a Nally one-yard run. Nally passed for the two-point conversion to make it 39-30.
At that point, Bedford needed two scores to catch the Golden Bears, who recovered the kickoff and ran out the clock to the delight of their fans.
Bishop Garrigan finished the season 12-1.