GLENWOOD, Iowa — With a gutsy performance by his team, Harlan coach Curt Bladt reached a rare milestone and his program continued a remarkable streak.
Bladt became the third Iowa coach to win 400 games as Harlan held off Glenwood 17-14 Friday night in Class 3-A, District 7 play, improving its all-time mark to 24-0 on the Rams’ home field.
If Bladt didn’t realize it, the Harlan student section made sure he was aware, chanting “That’s four hundred! That’s four hundred!” at game’s end.
Bladt improved his career record to a sparkling 400-59 (.871) in 40 years at the school. He was more impressed with his players.
“That was playoff-level football,” he said. “Both teams.”
Harlan allowed 38.6 points per game last year, 51st among the 56 teams in Class 3-A. They summoned a superb effort on that side of the ball to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in district play.
Senior Nick Foss also turned in a tireless effort on both sides of the ball.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder carried 22 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns. From his safety spot, he made two solo tackles and eight assists, and added an interception.
“Our big emphasis was on defense this year,” Foss said. “I think everyone knows that. It’s showing.”
Leading 10-7, Foss turned in the backbreaking score, racing 33 yards to paydirt to put his team up 10 with 1:46 to play.
Glenwood’s Zach Carr responded with a 68-yard kickoff return, and Noah Carter’s 1-yard plunge cut it to 17-14 with 58.8 seconds left. However, sophomore Alex Schechinger recovered the onside kick and Harlan ran out the clock.
The Rams climbed out of an early district hole last year to make the playoffs.
“Hat’s off to Harlan,” Glenwood coach Cory Faust said. “They did a great job. I’m mad right now so I can’t say much, but yeah, we talked about that. If there’s any group that knows they’ve still got anything they want to accomplish for their season goals, it’s this one.”
Harlan opened the scoring with a 14-play drive, mostly on the ground. Kyle Knudson capped it with a 41-yard field goal.
Glenwood took over on its 37 with 58.8 seconds left in the half, and Andrew Blum quickly moved his team down the field, hitting Colton Schutte for 20 yards and then Nathan Kennedy for 11 to the Harlan 18. Blum scrambled for 11 to the 7 before going out of bounds.
The clock initially expired and the Cyclones headed towards the locker room. However, 1.0 was put back on the clock. Then Wyatt Schaben blocked a 24-yard field-goal attempt, and Harlan ran off with the halftime lead.
Harlan (3-1)………………0 3 7 7—17
At Glenwood (3-1)………0 0 0 14—14
H: FG Kyle Knudson 41
H: Nick Foss 2 run (Knudson kick)
G: Noah Carter 1 run (Alex Nusser kick)
G: Carter 1 run (Nusser kick)