Knights drop season finale

The Irondale High School football team closed out the regular season Wednesday with a heart-breaking 24-21 loss at Chisago Lakes. A late field goal proved to be the difference.

Chisago Lakes turned a muffed punt into the game-winning points when Dan Sargeant booted a 36-yard field with three seconds left.

The last-second loss overshadowed a strong fourth-quarter by Irondale running back Victor James, who came off the bench to spark the Knights. With his team trailing by seven in the fourth quarter, James broke free for runs of 14 and six yards before ripping off a 38-yard touchdown run.

James also added an 18-yard run to help set up Wil Kah's 3-yard touchdown run that put Irondale ahead 21-14.

Chisago Lakes answered with a 64-yard touchdown run by Joshua Parks to tie the score at 21-21.

As the clock moved into the later stages of the fourth quarter, overtime loomed as Irondale's attempt at the game-winning score was thwarted by a Chisago Lakes interception. The Knights then forced the Wildcats to punt, a play that would turn the tide of the game.

Irondale couldn't handle the punt and Chisago Lakes recovered the loose ball at the Knights' 39-yard line. The Wildcats moved down to the Irondale 19 to set up Sargeant's kick.

The two teams combined for 31 points in the fourth quarter after putting up only 14 through the first three quarters. Irondale got on the board first with an impressive opening drive that covered 74 on 16 plays. Quarterback Justus Canfield capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone.

Chisago Lakes answered in the second quarter with a 10-play, 65-yard drive that ended with quarterback Mitch Berg's 1-yard touchdown.

The loss drops Irondale to 5-3 overall and 5-1 in the North Suburban Conference. The Knights finished second in the conference, one game behind Spring Lake Park, which capped an unbeaten regular season with a 29-20 win over St. Francis on Wednesday.

The defeat probably also cost Irondale a home playoff game. Head coach Ben Geisler said he expects his team to end up as the fifth seed in Section 4AAAAA and play at fourth-seeded Mahtomedi in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday.

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