Katie Lindsay makes Iowa high school football history in Van Meter’s state championship game win

play

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Katie Lindsay, Van Meter’s steady sophomore kicker, made history on Thursday evening, becoming the first Iowa girl to score points in a state football championship game.

Those points — two successful point-after attempts and a crucial 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter — were not only historic, but absolutely vital in the Bulldogs’ 17-14 win over West Sioux in the Class 1A state championship game at the UNI-Dome.

“I tried not to think about it,” Lindsay said afterward. Lindsay said that she tried to do the best I could and then just kicked it.

“I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so big in my life. “

Lindsay knocked home a 27-yarder with 7: 21 left in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s title game, giving Van Meter a 17-7 lead at the time. It was the game-winner and lifted the Bulldogs to their second school championship.

Van Meter caps the 2021 season with a perfect 13-0 record. The Bulldogs are now a staggering 71-4 since 2016, a run that includes five state title game appearances and now two titles, in 2017 and again on Thursday.

The Bulldogs had reached the past two 1A state championship games. In 2019, West Lyon plowed through them, 50-14. Last season, OABCIG snatched victory from Van Meter in the final two minutes thanks to the late-game heroics of Cooper DeJean, now a freshman safety at Iowa.

Those November heartbreaks would not happen a third time. Van Meter toppled a game West Sioux squad thanks to the tough running of Dalten Van Pelt (122 yards on 26 carries) and the timely execution of quarterback Jack Pettit. He hit Chris Schreck for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then scored on a 1-yard run in the second.

Those points gave Van Meter a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but West Sioux battled back with a touchdown just before recess. Blake Van Ballegooyen hit Carter Bultman on a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 at halftime.

Neither team budged much throughout the contest. Van Meter limited West Sioux’s high-flying offense to just 269 yards — the Falcons, who finished 11-2, surpassed 500 total yards of offense against Dike-New Hartford in the semifinals — while the Bulldogs amassed just 252 themselves. Pettit was responsible for 132, with 111 passing and 21 rushing.

“They went out there and they earned it today, no question about it,” Van Meter coach Eric Trudo said. It’s something that this group has been trying to accomplish since November. “

West Sioux’s first drive of the second half spanned 15 plays and went 54 yards, but ended in a turnover on downs just outside the red zone. After just three plays, their second came to an abrupt halt when Schreck intercepted a Falcon quarterback Dylan Wiggins’s pass.

Van Meter took 14 plays to reach West Sioux’s 11-yard line. Lindsay came out on fourth down and scored her second field goal for the season. Her first was also a 27-yarder against ACGC in the state quarterfinals. Van Meter led 14-13 at the time, but went on to win 31-13.

Against West Sioux, Lindsay’s field goal again proved pivotal. Although West Sioux put a lot of pressure on the edge, none of the rushers arrived in time. The kick could’ve been good from 40 or better.

“She’s amazing,” Pettit said.

> RELATED: Meet Katie Lindsay, Van Meter’s historic sophomore kicker

West Sioux charged downfield and came within a single possession. Wiggins hit Brady Lynott for a 31-yard touchdown with 4: 24 left. Van Meter ensured they would not see the ball again, milking all remaining time off the clock thanks to a nine-play, 41-yard game-sealing drive, capped by a 17-yard pass from Pettit to Ganon Archer on third-and-11.

That sealed Van Meter’s good fortunes. The past two seasons, Van Meter has been at the wrong end. They were able to overcome their challenges and become state champions again on Thursday.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter @codygoodwin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *