CEDAR FALLS — The Murray Mustangs football team defeated Clarksville, 58-35, here Thursday in the eight-man state semifinals at the UNI-Dome.
Murray (12-1) now advances to play undefeated Fremont Mills in the state championship game Friday, Nov. 18 at 10:35 a.m. at the UNI-Dome.
The Mustangs fell in a 14-0 hole in the game's first 1:26 after a pair of fumbles, but Murray scored the next 20 points on three Austin Halls touchdown passes to take a 20-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Indians scored on their first possession of the second half for a 21-20 lead, but Murray responded with an Andrew Rider touchdown run. Another Rider TD run later in the third made it a 36-21 Mustang lead.
Clarksville closed to within one in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but Murray scored the game's final 22 points to win going away.
LeMars Gehlen Catholic defeated East Union in four games Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Iowa State Volleyball Tournament, losing 21-25, 25-12, 25-18 and 25-10. East Union finishes the season with a record of 32-5.
Recap: CEDAR RAPIDS — No. 1-ranked Le Mars Gehlen Catholic was making its third straight trip to the state tournament, and had not even lost a set since Sept. 24 going into its 2011 state tourney opener Thursday against No. 9 East Union.
The Eagles ended that streak in the first set in the Class 1A state quarterfinals Thursday, but in the end Gehlen Catholic prevailed 21-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-10.
While compiling a 32-1 match record, the Lady Jays were an incredible 78-4 in total sets for the season. Their only defeat was a September match against Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic, which has made the Class 3A semifinals for the ninth consecutive year.
Yet, on Thursday afternoon at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, it was the younger, underdog East Union Eagles who came out on fire.
Shelby Smith's ace serve punctuated a 25-21 victory by the Eagles in game one to hand Gehlen its first set defeat in six weeks. This is a Gehlen team with five starters back from the squad that took a 2-0 lead on state champion Tripoli in last year's semifinals before losing 3-2.
East Union's momentum was short-lived, however, as the Lady Jays hammered their way to a 6-2 lead in game two on the way to a 25-12 win.
Gehlen took command late in the crucial third set, breaking the tie to go ahead 2-1 with a 25-18 triumph. By then, East Union was on the defensive against the strong service of Gehlen's senior-laden lineup, and Gehlen cruised 25-10 in the fourth set.
Steph Rohe had 15 kills and 14 digs to lead second-ranked LeMars Gehlen Catholic.
The Jays (33-1) will face Janesville or Holy Trinity Catholic in the Class 1A semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Amber Friend had 11 kills to lead East Union, who finishes the year 32-5 after making their second-straight state tournament trip.