COUNCIL BLUFFS — The cousins had never faced each other in a real football game.
Junior Brady Miller of Council Bluffs Lewis Central and senior Parker Sell of Glenwood met near midfield at game’s end on Friday night. They both held a healthy respect for the other’s team.
Glenwood, a huge underdog to the high-flying Titans, had the ball in L.C. territory with less than three minutes remaining, trailing only 28-14. But second-rated L.C. turned a Calvin Fricke interception into two late scores, sealing a harder-than-it-looks 42-14 Class 3-A, District 9 victory at Titan Stadium.
The Rams (4-4, 1-3) outgained L.C. 339-286, held a huge time-of-possession advantage and had 17 first downs to the Titans’ 13. But Lewis Central (8-0, 4-0) held at least a two-score lead from the middle of the second quarter on, clinching its seventh straight postseason appearance and 13th in all as the district champion.
“Hat’s off to the Glenwood kids. They played hard. They played physical,’’ L.C. coach Jim Duggan said. “Give credit to our kids, too. They did what they had to do to win. It was good for our kids to have to play four full quarters against a very competitive, hard-nosed football team.’’
Glenwood coach Cory Faust was asked if it was his team’s best performance of the year.
“Best game we played this year, probably, yeah,’’ he said. “I’m very proud of our guys. They battled to the end what I think is probably the most talented team in the state. I can’t complain about anything tonight.’’
Lewis Central scored on three straight possessions bridging the halftime break to take control. Mike Gittins scored on a 13-yard touchdown run, TCU recruit Max Duggan hit Josh Simmons perfectly in stride on a 27-yard scoring pass, and Duggan connected with Simmons again from 10 yards out to give the Titans a 28-0 lead with 8:49 left in the third quarter. Duggan finished 7-for-11 for 115 yards and two scores through the air, and added eight carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.
But the Rams scored on drives of 80 and 81 yards on their next two possessions to make it interesting. Glenwood relied on the power running of seniors Cooper Silvius (11 carries, 105 yards) and Noah Carter (16 carries, 82 yards). They each scored on short touchdown runs to cap those drives and make it a 28-14 game with 2:41 left in the third.
“I thought our kids believed that they could be successful, and then as they hung in longer and longer, I think more and more so,’’ Faust said.
The Glenwood coach said Sell, a 6-2, 245-pound senior, was instrumental in the Rams’ 275-yard rushing attack.
“That might not be something that you noticed from the stands, but we used him as kind of a flex tight end tonight, and he did a really good job for us,’’ Faust said.
Sell and Miller, a tight end/defensive end, are the sons of twins Ryan Sell of Glenwood and Holly (Sell) Miller of Council Bluffs. They lined up across from each other several times.
“Most of the time I was just putting him on his butt,’’ Sell said with a smile.
Miller, who had a 16-yard catch and a six-yard run along with some outstanding defensive plays, took the playful ribbing in stride and said he enjoyed the experience.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to play him,’’ said Miller, whose father, Dan, is the Titans’ head boys basketball coach and a football assistant. “It was like when we would play football in the backyard when we would have family gatherings. It was something we marked on our calendar for sure. They played very hard. They’re a very physical team.’’
Fricke’s interception led to two Titan scores in the final 2:45, but Sell said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“We played our hearts out,’’ he said. “Honestly, I don’t think the score shows how close that was. It should have been a lot closer. But they are a great team.’’
While Lewis Central will be in the playoffs, Glenwood will seek a winning record in the season finale against Creston.
“It’s always important to get over .500, and to send our seniors out with a win is really important to us,’’ Faust said.
Glenwood…………………….(4-4, 1-3) 0 0 7 7 – 14
CB Lewis Central……….(8-0, 4-0) 7 14 7 14 – 42
LC: Mike Gittins 18 run (Drake Nettles kick)
LC: Gittins 13 run (Nettles kick)
LC Josh Simmons 27 pass from Max Duggan (Nettles kick)
LC: Simmons 10 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick)
G: Cooper Silvius 3 run (Alex Nusser kick)
G: Noah Carter 4 run (Nusser kick)
LC: Duggan 52 run (Nettles kick)
LC: Gittins 7 run (Nettles kick)
RUSHING: G, Cooper Silvius 11-105, Noah Carter 16-82, Zach Carr 18-45, Dominic Robertson 3-38, Colton Schutte 6-5. LC, Max Duggan 8-90, Mike Gittins 8-67, Dane Norville 1-8, Brady Miller 1-6.
PASSING: G, Zach Carr 6-11-1, 48 yards; Colton Schutte 1-1-0, 16 yards. LC, Max Duggan 7-11-0, 115 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: G, John Palmer 3-28, Zach Carr 1-16, Ryan Blum 2-13, Dominic Robertson 1-7. LC, Josh Simmons 4-89, Brady Miller 1-16, Thomas Fidone 1-8, Dane Norville 1-2.