Nevada football pulls off 34-26 victory with clutch plays to beat A-D-M in Class 3A first round

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

Nevada did what Nevada does in its Class 3A first-round playoff game against Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday at Cub Stadium in Nevada.

The Cubs, ranked sixth, knocked off the 10th-ranked Tigers, 34-26, after scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns to come back from a 20-13 deficit.

Nevada football team celebrates after winning 34-26 over Adel-Desoto-Minburn in thefirst round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday at Cubs Stadium in Nevada.

"That's been our identity all season," Nevada head coach Andrew Kleeman said. "We're a grind-it-out, play hard, physical football team. It might not always go as the script says, but our kids play with a lot of heart. At the end of the day, they made enough plays to win and we're just ecstatic to move on and get another week."

Nevada improved to 9-1 with the victory. A-D-M saw its season end with a 7-3 record. Here's what we learned from the Cub victory:

Edwards, Stevenson come up clutch

A-D-M pulled within 27-26 on a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Matt Dufoe with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter.

The Cubs had the ball facing third down near midfield. If they didn't convert, A-D-M would get the ball with plenty of time to move down the field for the winning score.

Edwards went back to pass looking for 6-foot-7 tight end Carson Rhodes, but a big A-D-M pass rush took that away and forced Edwards to improvise. Just as he was being tackled behind the line, Edwards instinctively flipped the ball to Stevenson, who raced 14 yards for a first down.

"We tried to get the ball to Carson to get some yards and then go for it on fourth down, but I saw the guy break off the edge and I knew it wasn't going to be there," Edwards said. "I was going down and I looked over and saw Cason on the right, so I just flipped it over to him like I shot a basket."

Right after the play, Cael Franzen rumbled 35 yards up the middle for a touchdown with 2:29 left to put Nevada up eight.

Stevenson finished with 159 yards rushing on just 12 carries.

Nevada running back Cason Stevenson(10) breaks a tackle from Adel-Desoto-Minburn defensive back Ryan Conrad (7) and runs for first down during the first quarter of the Cubs' 34-26 victory over the Tigers in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday in Nevada. Stevenson had two big touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to help the Cubs advance.

"I'm just getting the job done, I guess," Stevenson said. "It felt good."

Stevenson found the end zone from 30 yards out for Nevada's first touchdown of the fourth quarter. His clutch fourth quarter was more than enough to redeem him for a costly fumble early in the third.

"I had some mistakes, but the team helped me bounce back," Stevenson said. "I just love this team."

Edwards ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and completed 5 of 9 passes for 58 yards and one score. Rhodes made two catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Dittmer with the stop

Even after Stevenson's touchdown, A-D-M still had one more chance to score a touchdown and convert a 2-point conversion.

But Nevada forced the Tigers to go for it on fourth-and-four. Dufoe, who had given Nevada fits all game, scrambled to the outside to try and get the first down.

But senior Nevada safety Ty Dittmer was there, waiting for him. Dittmer took Dufoe down just short of the marker to ice the game.

Nevada defensive back Seth Brown takes down A-D-M running back Brevin Doll (15) during the second quarter of the Cubs' 34-26 victory over the Tigers in the first round of the 3A playoffs Friday in Nevada.

"I knew in our coverage that I had the flats," Dittmer said. "My job all week, when they run smash, is to get to the edge — and I got there."

Dittmer ended the game with six tackles. Safety Caleb Kooiker finished with 13 and Franzen tallied 11.5.

Seth Brown added an interception.

Nevada happy to get one more week

Nevada doesn't care who it plays in the second round next Friday. The Cubs just want another week together as a team.

"We'll find out and get prepared Monday," Edwards said. "We're moving on. That's all that matters."

Nevada 34, A-D-M 26

A-D-M            0        6        14         6 — 26

Nevada          6        7          0       21 — 34

Individual statistics

Rushing: Nevada — Cason Stevenson 12-159. ADM — Brevin Doll 27-177.

Passing: Nevada — James Edwards 5-9-0-58. ADM — Matt Dufoe 9-14-0-90.

Receiving: Nevada — Carson Rhodes 2-36. ADM — Doll 4-37.

Tackles: Nevada — Caleb Kooiker 13. ADM — Christian Madison 10.5.

Fumble recoveries: ADM — Gabe Heitz, Jacob Crystal.

Interceptions: Nevada — Seth Brown.