Lightning does strike twice! Another late touchdown and defensive stand launches Kee football to 42-40 win at unbeaten Turkey Valley

Teaming up on defense, connecting on offense ... Kee football seniors Damon Weber and Tyson Cota (left to right in above photo) sandwich this Turkey Valley receiver while defending a pass to the end zone in the Hawks’ 42-40 upset win over the undefeated Trojans at Fort Atkinson Friday, October 29 in the second round of the Eight-Player State Play-Offs. In addition to turning away pass plays on defense, Weber also wrapped up a team-high 14 total tackles that included 11 solo stops and one tackle for loss while Cota recorded a pair of defensive halts, both of them solo. On the opposite side the ball, the two connected for three touchdown receptions as part of Cota’s nine total catches for 133 yards. In all, Weber completed 25 of 38 pass attempts for 299 yards and five total touchdowns, and he also carried the ball 19 times for a team-high 66 yards and the Hawks’ lone rushing touchdown. Photo courtesy of the Kee High School Yearbook. View and find out how to purchase this photo and more by clicking on the Photo Galleries on this webpage.

Heart-stopping Hawks earn first-ever quarterfinals berth in Eight-Player program history

The past three Fridays of the Iowa high school football season have had a lot riding on them for the 2021 Kee football team, and the grid Hawks have taken their fans and themselves on quite the ride in each of those weeks, including its latest thrill of a 42-40 upset victory at undefeated and top-five rated Turkey Valley Friday, October 29 in the second round of the Eight-Player State Play-Offs.

Having watched a 10-point halftime lead whittled away to as much as a 12-point deficit as late as midway through the fourth period, the Kee gridders pieced together a pair of final scoring drives in the latter half of the fourth quarter, and also turned away a pair of final Trojan series to earn their first-ever State Play-Off Quarterfinal berth in their Eight-Player program history. Those final Hawk heroics included a final touchdown pass with just under one minute remaining in the ballgame to take that final two-point edge, followed by turning away four consecutive Turkey Valley pass attempts to thwart any and all Trojan efforts of providing their own final answer.

The Hawk victory moves them on to the quarterfinal round of play for the first time in their Eight-Player program history and gives them their first multiple postseason wins in overall program history. Kee’s gridders have posted three other postseason victories, each in a separate season, to earn the only other three advancements in Kee football’s overall postseason history.

Back in its 11-player days, the Hawks had posted a 48-0 win over East Buchanan in 1990’s first round of Class 1A play and also a 21-13 triumph over Fredericksburg in 1991’s Class A opening round of play, but went on to fall to Aplington-Parkersburg in both quarterfinal match-ups by just three-point margins, 3-0 and 31-28, respectively. Last season’s 50-24 first-round victory over Turkey Valley marked the only Eight-Player postseason victory for the football Hawks prior to this season, before that 2020 campaign was ended by a 62-26 loss at Janesville.

The victory also thrusts the Hawks into a rematch with fellow District 5 foe Easton Valley in that quarterfinal match-up, a team Kee faced just over two weeks ago and came up just short, 51-46, in that District 5 title tilt between then unbeaten squads. The River Hawks have had no other team come within 40 points of them this season and come off back-to-back play-off wins of 69-8 over Dunkerton, and 60-7 over English Valleys just this past Friday.

“We are looking forward to the rematch of the district title game in the play-offs,” Coach Winters forecasted in regard to having to travel to Easton Valley for this second meeting of the season between the two clubs. “This time a trip to the Dome will be on the line. From a preparation standpoint for the coaches and players, it helps that we played them the last game of the regular season. We know what they like to do and they are incredibly efficient at what they do. They are dynamic in the run and pass game. We have a huge challenge in front of us, but at the same time an incredible opportunity. It’s going to take an entire team effort of 48 minutes to go down there and get the job done.”

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