Cobras keep playoff hopes alive with big win

Luke Greiner kept Wapello guessing, rushing for 200 yards and two scores, along with 110 passing yards in the win.

Four weeks ago, it seemed like SK wouldn't even have a chance to make the playoffs, having lost three of their first four games. Since then, the Cobras have turned their season around with three straight wins. The playoff hopes grew even more after SK beat Wapello 48-41 on October 13.

Both sides came into the game with high-powered offenses, and continued to show off their talent on the field throughout the night. Wapello got things started midway through the opening quarter, holding a 7-0 lead until Carson Crawford punched in a seven-yard run to tie. Wapello put up one more score before the quarter ended.

Crawford helped SK counter with a 71-yard run, and took the lead on a four-yard rush for his third score of the game. Wapello tied things up near the end of the half, 21-21. Crawford continued to be the star of the game, busting off 15-yard and 56-yard runs to take back a 14-point lead.

"We scored first in the second half and got a big stop taking advantage of that, scoring another touchdown," Cobras coach Jared Jensen said. "It was a back and forth game from there."

Wapello and SK continued to put up big numbers, with the Cobras maintaining their lead. In the final 13 minutes, Wapello scored 21 points, while SK scored 14 points. Luke Greiner was responsible for both touchdowns, with 52 and 60 -yard dashes.

The Cobra defense pinned their ears back, as Wapello had the chance to tie the game late or take a one-point lead. A critical stop sealed the win for the Cobras, putting them in a tie for the second-place spot in their district.

"For the second week in a row, our offense exploded," Jensen said. "Our offensive line is playing really well right now and our backs are creating really explosive plays."

Crawford busted off 350 yards on the ground, getting 30 touches and scoring five times. Greiner continued to prove his durability, rushing for 200 yards and two scores to go along with 110 yards passing. On the receiving end, JD Stout hauled in two catches for 69 yards, while Jack Eakins had one receptions for 41 yards.

The duo of Crawford and Greiner also led the team on defense, combining for 16.5 tackles, 11 solo. Zech Boender also had 5.5 tackles, four solo.

"We have to improve all phases of the defense," Jensen said. "Our defensive line needs to get off their block and work on their pass rush more. The linebackers need to read plays better and drop back for passes, and the defensive backs need to work on their pass rush."

One game remains on the schedule for the Cobras, the most important game of the season for multiple reasons. The winner of the Cobras and Wilton game will determine who takes second place in the district and gets an automatic bid to the playoffs. If they lose, the chances dwindle, with hopes resting on a wild-card berth.

The Cobras will travel to Wilton, in what's expected to be a playoff-like atmosphere, on October 20.