CRANE - Prairie City football has had its share of tough breaks this season.
The Panthers dropped a game 24-6 to Mitchell/Spray after leading at halftime Sept. 12 and had a last-second 42-40 loss via a pitch play to Adrian Sept. 26.
Prairie City also had a 52-14 loss to Crane Oct. 3.
Prairie City trailed the entire game and was behind 32-0 at halftime, but something odd happened in the game. The Panthers managed to earn 18 first downs to the Mustangs' 11 throughout the game. Prairie City also out-earned Crane in yards, 421 to 260. They especially dominated the rushing game, picking up 340 yards to Crane's 180.
Brandon Crisler, running for 155 yards, and Colton Shulze, running for 145 yards, earned more yards than Crane's team.
However, Crane picked up some big special teams plays that scored and led to short touchdowns.
"They made the big play here and there," Prairie City coach Scott Hoberg said. "They had long punt returns and took advantage of our mistakes. We had some offensive, defensive and special teams mistakes as a team that added up to a loss."
Hoberg said he believes his team could have hung in better.
"With Crane, there were no tricks," Hoberg said. "It's not like we didn't know what to expect. They're a great team. I'm glad the young kids got a chance to compete with them and see they can. Crane never took out there starters once in the game. The second half we were right there."
The Panthers host Harper at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 during their homecoming game.
"It's homecoming and I hope the players feel they have a chance to win this one," Hoberg said. "I also know we have to respect Harper from last year's game and be ready to play on Friday."