Iowa survives upset bid, holds on in final quarter

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, November 19, 2022

IOWA — Top-seeded Iowa eked out a 17-14 non-select Division II regional win over No. 17 Abbeville Friday, earning a chance to avenge its lone regular-season loss next week.

The Yellow Jackets (10-1), who had a first-round bye, will meet No. 9 Leesville, which beat Iowa 30-14 in Week 3 of the regular season.

Leesville advanced with a 21-7 win over No. 25 Jennings.

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Iowa has won eight straight since the loss to the Wampus Cats. None was tougher than the latest.

Abbeville led 14-7 the final minute of the third quarter until Iowa tight end Luke Guillory took a screen pass from quarterback Cole Corbello 51 yards down the left sideline to put the Jackets ahead.

Abbeville threatened to retake the lead, driving to the Iowa 26 before turning the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass with 8:37 remaining in the game.

The Wildcats never saw the ball again. Iowa milked the clock with a 15-play drive. Jonathan Walker kept it alive with a 13-yard reception at midfield. Ronald Young ran for a first down on three third-down plays on the drive and Abbeville committed a pass-interference penalty on third-and-14 at their 42-yard line. Young, finished with 106 yards on 21 carries, sealed the win with an 18-yard run on third-and-6 with 52 seconds left.

Iowa head coach Tommy Johns said he expected a close one.

“Abbeville is tremendously well coached and they play hard,” he said.

“We didn’t play our best game defensively. We lined up wrong a couple of times and they made us pay. At halftime we told the kids our execution was the problem. It was better in the second half.”

The teams traded scores in the first half, with Iowa getting a 5-yard touchdown run from Young and a 42-yard field goal from Matthew Vest.

“He’s been hitting them from 42, 43 in practice the past few weeks so we felt good giving him a shot from that range,” Johns said.

Abbeville answered both times to take a 14-10 halftime lead. Tahj Jones threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Derrian Washington and Tresean Greene scored on a 4-yard run. He led Abbeville with 111 rushing yards.

Abbeville defensive back Broderic Fletcher intercepted two passes in the first half, both in the Abbeville red zone.