ALTA - Sioux Central, facing a 14-0 first half deficit, roared back in the last two quarters here Friday night, coming up with a 16-14 win over the Cyclones, spoiling Alta's homecoming.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Cyclones scored twice in the second quarter and made two extra-point kicks for a 14-0 lead at the half.
"This was a game where both teams played well," Sioux Central coach Jeff Tiefenthaler said. "We made two touchdowns and they made two, but the difference was we made two two-point conversions and they made two kicks."
Alta controlled time of possession in the first half, according to Tiefenthaler.
"We only had the ball three or four times in the first two quarters," he said.
The Cyclones opened the scoring in the second quarter after running back Morgan Van Houten capped a long drivde with a one-yard dive into the end zone. Brad Payne made the extra-point kick.
On its next possession, Alta struck with a big play, as quarterback Payne connected with Brian Pederson for a 53-yard scoring pass. Payne made the PAT kick as the Cylcones went into the lockeroom at the half with a 14-0 lead.
The game's turning point came on a Sioux Central scoring drive early in the third quarter.
During the drive, Sioux Central faced fourth down on three occasions and converted on all three.
The first was a fake punt near midfield that the Rebels converted on a fourth and seven.
"We knew it was coming, but we had some lapses and weren't able to stop it," Alta coach Kevin Hammer said.
"We've played well at times, but have had trouble holding leads and especially closing down games."
Significantly, Rebel quarterback Kasey Huebner ran for the two-point conversion as Sioux Central closed to within 14-8 late in the third.
On its next possession, the Rebels' speedy tailback, Andrew Phinney, broke loose for a 71-yard scoring run. Huebner's PAT pass to wideout A.J. Tiefenthaler was good as the Rebels went on top 16-14.
Hammer said his team had a productive drive going in the fourth quarter, but a Cyclone player fumbled with Sioux Central recovering to end the threat. Rebel fullback Justin Shidler ran 15 times for 119 yards, as Sioiux Central ran 46 times for 260 yards.