CEDAR FALLS, Iowa | It was a history-making state championship for Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley in more ways than one.
The Nighthawks captured the school's first state championship with a 41-22 rout of Union of LaPorte City in the Class 2A title tilt at the UNI-Dome on Friday. It also marked the first title for BH/RV Coach Cory Brandt in just his second trip to the title game in 19 seasons with the Nighthawks.
With the win, Brandt joined his father, Barry, as the first father-son duo ever to both coach a state champion. Barry led Glidden-Ralston to the 1A title in 1975.
"That is special," said Brandt as he fought back tears. "This year he came up in the box just to watch stuff because he is retired. He coached football for over 40 years, but he just wants to have eyes and look at stuff. One of the plays today was his design. I am not going to lie, I am honored.
"I don't have any words for this because you don't plan for this, you don't plan not for this."
The Brandts join Gordon and Jay McKinstrey, also with Siouxland roots, and Butch and Lance Pederson as the only father-son combos to coach in playoff era title games.
BH/RV quarterback Brett Moser set a new 1A championship game record with six total touchdowns, having a part in every Nighthawk score. He finished 25 of 35 for 317 yards in the air and four touchdowns while adding 37 more yards on the ground and two more trips to the end zone.
"It is unbelievable ... I can't even describe it, it is an awesome feeling," said Moser, who was the MVP of the game. "We have had a legacy but before we just couldn't get it done. We did the best we could and we came out on top."
The Nighthawks took control of the game in the third quarter as a personal foul penalty on third-and-10 gave BH/RV new life. It knew what to do with it as Moser hit Shane Solberg with a 72-yard scoring strike to make it 20-7.
Union (11-2) responded behind its big-play running back Isaiah Vaughn as he raced 57 yards to paydirt. That is when the Nighthawks started chewing up clock.
First came a 10-play drive with pass completions of 12, 15, 17 and 14 yards by Moser to set up his own 4-yard dash to the end zone to make it 28-14.
After a quick three-and-out by Union, it was another 10-play drive finished off by Jacob Schafer's 29-yard TD reception to make it 35-14.
"We got their offense out of rhythm and it got us going a little bit," said Moser of the long drives that led to a better than 15-minute advantage in possession. "We started rolling from there."
Union had another quick possession and -- hard as it is to believe -- 10 plays later it was Moser racing in from two yards out for his team's final score.
The Nighthawks (12-1) avoided disaster on a couple of occasions early with six fumbles in the game, but lost just two.
"It was a dogfight that is for sure," said Solberg of the early fumbles. "I think it was just jitters and they were definitely going for the ball too."
Moser found 10 receivers in the game and Schafer and Solberg combined to rush for 141 yards.
"We have a ton of playmakers and everyone gets their chance and they can all make plays," Moser said. "It is a great feeling when everyone can make big plays."
Union could not have started the game any better with Vaughn ripping off a 30-yard run on the first play before finding the end zone from 38 yards out on the next snap. The Knights had a 7-0 lead 42 seconds into the game.
"They smacked us in the mouth, we had to respond and I thought the kids did that," Brandt said.
Vaughn finished the game with 165 yards but 125 of that came on three runs.
The Nighthawks tied up the game on the first play of the second quarter when Moser hit Mitchell Diekevers from four yards out. It was a 10-yard hookup to Alex Frick on the next drive to make it 13-7.
The Knights had a chance to get back in the game as they blocked a punt with 48 seconds to go in the first half, but John Boisen fumbled the ball on the 1 going in and Dylan Hilbrands recovered to end the threat.
The Nighthawk defense allowed just 94 yards through the air and recovered two fumbles as the adjustments after the first drive worked well.
"That is for everyone that has worn the jersey before them," said Brandt of the title. "It is all about team, it is all about family."