The Grey Ghosts traveled to Rock Island to face Alleman in the first-round playoff game Saturday.
However, it was the last game for the season after a 41-0 loss to the Pioneers (7-2).
The Grey Ghosts traveled to Rock Island to face Alleman in the first-round playoff game Saturday. However, it was the last game for the season after a 41-0 loss to the Pioneers (7-2). IVC last made it to the playoffs in 2010 when they beat Herscher 42-0 in the first round but lost to Pontiac 31-15 in the second round. This time around, facing the No. 3 seed Alleman, the No. 6 seed Grey Ghosts had a tougher fight ahead them. “There wasn't anything that we didn't have,” said coach Tim Heinz. “It just wasn't our day and they were a lot better than we are.” Alleman made it to the state championship in 2012 but lost to Rochester 43-18 for the title. In 2010 the Pioneers, again, faced Rochester in the championship for a 24-7 loss. The Grey Ghosts received the opening kick off with senior Kelley Noetzol returning it to their own 27-yard line. The offensive drive was stopped short in four plays and IVC was forced to put. After an illegal shift on senior Ben Rashid's first punt, IVC was called back to the 22-yard line for a re-punt to set Alleman up on IVC's 48-yard line. Alleman needed one play to send senior Connor Doak through the middle for a 47-yard touchdown run at 9:57. On IVC's next possesion, Noetzol and Blake Strebel's runs were good enough for a first down but could not get the ball any farther. Rashid came out for the punt again on 4-and-eight. On Alleman's next possession, IVC put pressure on the Pioneers backs. The Grey Ghosts held them at 3-and-one after a tackle by junior Chase Dietrich. The Pioneers were able to break through the line for a 5-yard drive to get the first down but were downed by a host of Ghosts on IVC's 40-yard line. On the next play, a quick pitch to the Pioneers' junior Kylee Dorsey resulted in a second touchdown for Alleman at 4:01 in the first quarter. Alleman snuck in one more touchdown before the buzzer of the first to make it 21-0. On the Grey Ghosts next possession, they were able to move the ball down to get inside Alleman's 30-yard line after a pass interference call on the Pioneers. Quarterback junior Noah Gould through an interception to end IVC's hold on the ball. “I think we struggled a little bit. They were more physical and they were a better team than us, but we fought hard and that's all you can do,” said Gould. “(The line) gave everything they could. Gave 100 percent but we just came up short.” IVC was able to hold Alleman's offensive drive after putting pressure on quarterback Matt Hubbell for an incomplete pass. The defense held Alleman's offense for the rest of the second quarter to stop the scoring before the half. The second half started with Alleman receiving and Riley Beard making the stop on the Pioneer's 19-yard line. Going back and forth on possession, Alleman squeezed in three additional touchdowns before the end of the third. IVC's defense in the fourth was able to hold the Alleman offensive train from scoring again. The IVC offense got on Alleman's 15-yard line after junior Sam Christian recovered Rashid's punt to keep it in Grey Ghost control. The drive was cut short after Alleman's Matt Orth recovered a fumble from IVC to end the game with Pioneer control. IVC totalled for 106 yards rushing. Noetzol was cut short by getting 43 yards on 14 plays and Strebel ran for 32 yards on 13 carries. “It wasn't the ending we wanted but we had a good season,” said Strebel. “We went 6-3 and a lot of people didn't think we were going to be that good.” This was Heinz's ninth year coaching the Grey Ghosts. After this season, his record with the school reached 58-31. “I'm very proud of them. We had a great season,” Heinz said. “You just can't have a bad day against a good team like that. Other than that, I'm proud of the kids played and played all season.”