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Jags advance to Playoffs

"What a season to remember."  states Coach Mike Swieter. "Early in the season the Jaguars played 5-0, second ranked Spirit Lake and got the win. A few weeks later, undefeated Algona came to town and the Jags pulled off another upset. There's not enough words to tell you what this game meant. This was a great win for everyone. To beat two undefeated teams that both dropped from Class 3A last year is priceless."
    This was a game played Friday night, October 19, on the Southeast Valley High School's home turf when the Jaguars met up to do battle with the then undefeated Bulldogs of Algona. The game got off to a good start with Chase Swieter getting a great kick and the kick-off team hustled down there and tackled them on the 3-yard line. But the Bulldogs has one of the most powerful offenses in the state and it only took them eight plays to take the lead 7 to 0.
    The Jaguars went right to work with Hunter Kruse hitting Nyles Johnson for a 31-yard reception but were forced to punt. Algona then fumbled with JJ Graves recovering the ball on the four-yard line. That was the break Southeast Valley needed.
    On 3rd and goal, Hunter Kruse hooked up with Zack Graves for a 3-yard touchdown. The Jags missed the two-point conversion. Algona moved the ball fast 9  plays later, making the score, 14 to 6  in their favor.    
    The Jaguars had to punt. The Jags defense stepped up and forced Algona to punt. Kyler Fisher had a run of 27 and then scored on a run of 22. Fisher also ran in the two--point conversion and to tie the score, 14 to 14.The Algona Bulldogs ran one play and fumbled with Jaguar Carter Fluckiger recovering the ball.
    Kyler Fisher had three quick runs and then Hunter Kruse connected with Nyles Johnson for a 19-yard touchdown. Southeast Valley missed the two-point conversion. But the Jaguars were in the lead, 20 to 14. 
    Nine plays later, Algona found the end zone and took the lead, 21 to 20. The Jags got things going but then had a fumble. 15 plays later, Algona took advantage of the turnover and regained the lead, 28 to 20, with 55 seconds left before halftime.
    The Jags spread the field but ran Kyler Fisher up the middle for a quick 19-yard gain so Southeast Valley called time out. The Jaguars ran a different type of spread and ran Kyler Fisher up the middle again for a 57-yard touchdown. Hunter Kruse hooked up with Mason Ackerson for the two-point conversion to tie the score once again, 28 to 28. The Algona team and fans took a big blow going into halftime. It was obvious that play was a killer for them.
    The Jags got the ball but had to punt after seven plays. Twelve plays later, the defense stepped up big and stopped the Bulldogs on 4th down.
    Southeast Valley needed to get something going as their opponents were really focused on Kyler Fisher. On 3rd and 6, Hunter Kruse hit Chase Swieter for a 12-yard reception which gave the Jaguars a much-needed first down. After again stopping the Jags running game, Hunter Kruse connected with Nyles Johnson on 3rd and 9 for a 33-yard reception with Kyler Fisher going in for a 10-yard touchdown run. Southeast Valley missed the two-point conversion but took the lead, 34 to 28.
    Seven quick plays later, the Algona Bulldogs scored again putting them back in the lead, 35 to 34.
    Nyles Johnson took a kick return for 19 yards and got a 15-yard face mask. First play, Hunter Kruse hit Nyles Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown with Kyler Fisher running in the two-point conversion with the lead once again changing hands in favor of the Jags, 42 to 35.
    Algona had to punt. Southeast Valley turned it over on downs. Seven plays later, the Bulldogs found the end zone but missed the extra point. Earlier, they had made their two extra points that barely made it through the uprights and it was time for one to be a miss, and sure enough, it was the big one.
    The Jaguars had the chance to run out the clock, but were forced to punt. Algona began moving the ball but had another fumble with Mason Ackerson getting the recovery.
    The Algona Bulldogs had all three time-outs and the only way Southeast Valley could stop them from moving the ball was to pound the ball and get a couple first downs. The Jaguars were not going to be denied. 
    Everyone knew it was in Kyler Fisher's hands and that the rest of the team would do their job blocking. Fisher finished that drive with runs of 3-5-3-17-6-19 and got the Jags the final first down that was needed so Southeast Valley could take the victory kneel. Two plays later, the Jaguars were District Champions.
    An ecstatic Coach Swieter commented, "What a great effort by everyone. Everyone did their part to make this happen. This was a special night for everyone who considers themselves a Jaguar. This was for everyone."
    Coach Swieter also shared how much he appreciates the Jaguar fans. "Wow, what a great showing for this special moment," he said. He also gave credit to his coaches. "They did a great job this week preparing for this game.".
    "The Jaguars clinched a playoff spot. Only 16 teams make the playoffs in each class so this is a great accomplishment for the boys. We need to enjoy this win but we want to keep this going so we have to have a great week of practice," Coach remarked.

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