Connor Spears catches a touchdown pass during Heelan's 49-21 loss to Decorah in the 3A title game.
Bishop Heelan committed three turnovers and lost the Class 3A championship game, 49-21, to number-1 Decorah on Thursday night in the UNI-Dome. It's Heelan's third runner-up finish in the last five years, while this is Decorah's fifth title, but their first since 1989.
Decorah bolted to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter before Heelan got on the board. Connor Niles took a reverse handoff around the right side and dove in for a 17 yard touchdown run to cut the Vikings lead to 21-7.
And then with 13 seconds in the first half, Trenton Solsma threw a short TD pass to Connor Spears to make it 21-14 at the half.
Decorah scored 21 points in the third quarter to take a 42-14 lead. Solsma threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Niles late in the game to provide the final points of the night.
"Unfortunately somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. We just ran into a buzz saw," said Bishop Heelan head coach Roger Jansen. "We had some turnovers that cost us but I thought the kids kept on battling. I said we're going to work through this as a family. I couldn't be more proud of this football team and our fans and my staff."
Josey Jewell ran for 160 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns for Decorah, who finishes 14-0.
Heelan (12-2) had 269 yards of total offense, with 202 coming through the air. Decorah gained 397 yards, with 280 on the ground.
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