Twelve minutes, 99 yards: The drive that won Iowa State the Cy-Hawk trophy

IOWA CITY – Iowa’s defense and special teams forced two interceptions, another pair of punt blocks and a fumble punched out of Jirehl Brock’s arms right at the plane of the end zone in Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game.

It painted a grim scene for the Cyclones, who planned on punting the ball away from their own 8-yard line until Lukas Van Ness found a way to get his hands on it again.

Iowa was starting deep in Iowa State’s territory, and there may not have been a soul in the stadium who thought Iowa State could pull off a 99-yard, go-ahead touchdown drive, especially against the stout Iowa defense.

At least not a soul who wasn’t on the Iowa State sideline.

But the offense did exactly that, and it won the program its first Cy-Hawk game since 2014.

“We kind of knew there was a good chance we’d be backed up to our own 1-yard line this week, just with how good their punter is,” Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers said of the preparation that went into Saturday’s game.

In large part because of the play of the sophomore quarterback in Dekkers, his favorite wide receiver in Xavier Hutchinson and the hard nosed running of Jirehl Brock, Iowa State was able to keep the Iowa defense on its heels, and on the field, for nearly 12 minutes.

It nearly faltered, a number of times, but the execution was there for this drive – and that’s something the Cyclones have needed in more of these Cy-Hawk games than one, especially today.

A prime example of that execution came on the defensive series before, where Iowa looked to punch in a second touchdown.

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras, took the snap at Iowa State’s 1-yard line and handed the ball to Hawkeye fullback Monte Pottebaum to try and push into the end zone. It looked like he might have came up just short based on where the referee was running to spot the ball.

It didn’t even look like the official was about to get to the dogpile, only to see a plethora of white-jersey’s signaling that their defense – particularly senior linebacker Kendall Jackson – recovered a loose football.

Iowa State had forced a third turnover in a series where it didn’t have a single one in the last five matchups.

Five minutes and 16 seconds remained on the scoreboard at Kinnick Stadium. Dekkers took the field with his offense, taking the 21-play, 99-yard drive one snap at a time.

Dekkers kept the ball on what was essentially a quarterback sneak for two yards. Iowa was called for offsides on the ensuing play, but Brock only mustered one yard out of the run.

On the next play, Dekkers handed it off to Brock again and watched him run to the 15 for six of the 100 yards he had on the ground Saturday. He got a first down.

Eli Sanders began the next set of downs with a five-yard rush, before Dekkers’ next pass attempt, which fell incomplete and found the Cyclones facing a third down on their own 20.

“To be honest, no – I felt really confident in this game the whole time,” Dekkers said. “I was just making little mistakes – they didn’t really come from nerves,” Dekkers said.

Dekkers found Hutchinson for one of the 11 receptions his favorite wideout had in the game. Another Cyclone first down.

Brock hit another eight-yard rush, but was stuffed for a loss of a yard on second down. Dekkers completed a pass to Jaylin Noel.

Another Cyclone first down. It ended the third quarter and gave Iowa State even more momentum going into the break, having ran 5:16 off the clock and going 3-3 on conversions.

That’s when things accelerated even more. Brock and Noel each tagged off five-yard runs to start the quarter. Another Cyclone first down.

Dekkers had passes to Aidan Bitter and converted once again by way of Hutchinson receiving the football. Another Cyclone first down.

The next snap came to Dekkers at Iowa’s 21-yard line, and the quarterback was scurrying towards the sidelines for a potential lane. Unsportsmanlike conduct was called after Cooper DeJean hit Dekkers in the shoulder blade. The sticks were moving again.

“It was always just one play at a time,” Hutchinson said. “Then you start to slowly creep your way in there and that’s when you start to think about it. Our whole mindset was just one play at a time, and when that play comes – just make the play.”

Iowa State had made three trips to the Iowa red zone already. It resulted in three points and two turnovers.

After a wildcard look and dump pass led to another third down on the 8-yard line, the aforementioned execution by Iowa State’s offense put a spin on the rivalry series that it needed to win.

Dekkers dropped back while Hutchinson dashed for the back corner of the end zone, only Hutchinson knew that he wasn’t going to go all the way to the white line.

“They (ran) cover zero, like they normally do on a big down in the end zone,” Hutchinson said. “Hunter believed in me one more time, and I’m just happy I could make that play for him and this team.”

Number 8 threw on the breaks, shaking off his defender, and stood in the end-zone awaiting the pass from Dekkers. Six points.

“From a special teams standpoint, from a defensive standpoint (and) from an offensive standpoint, there are things that we can be picky on and will get us beat if we don’t correct,” Campbell said. “But that 99-yard drive kind of emphasizes what we did, when we needed it most. We made the plays and that was big today, and that was great for our young team.”

Water bottles and other objects rained down from the stands at Kinnick Stadium.

Eleven minutes and 49 seconds had passed since Iowa State secured the fumble, with 21 plays in between the pair of big plays.

Hawkeye fans were dejected. Chaos had ensued in the most Cy-Hawk way imaginable.

And although Iowa was still in the game, Iowa State had delivered the final big blow in what seemingly turns into a boxing match between heavyweights any time they meet each other on the field.

For the first time in six bouts, the Cyclones came away with the belt.

“It’s great for Cyclone fans, for us, this is something that we’ve always talked about,” Hutchinson said. “We were always in the game – and sometimes we kind of killed our own selves. To bring it back to Ames feels terrific.

“I hope the Cyclone fans are happy,” Hutchinson said. “Hopefully, we start our own streak here.”