When the 2017 season began, Don Bosco began a mission to defend the state title it won a year ago. Mission accomplished.

The Dons capped an unbeaten season with a 52-14 win over St. Mary's of Remsen in the eight-player championship game of the Iowa High School Football Playoffs at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls Thursday morning (Nov. 16). The victory extended the state's longest active winning streak to 21 games.

Don Bosco (13-0) took control of the game late in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in a span of 91 seconds after building a 16-6 halftime lead. Wyatt Sawvel found the end zone on a two-yard run at the 2:34 mark, then came a 19-yard interception return by Thomas Even eight seconds later and a one-yard run by Austin Svoboda with 1:03 remaining. The Dons also executed a pair of two-point conversion plays.

Sawvel's TD run was his second of the day. He scored the game's first touchdown on a one-yard run at the 8:25 mark of the first quarter, and later, found the end zone a third time on a 15-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The Dons' senior quarterback led his team with 188 rushing yards on 28 carries.

After Don Bosco took an early 8-0 lead, St. Mary's narrowed the gap to 8-6 late in the first quarter. Derrick Schorg hooked up with Matt Begnoche on a three-yard scoring toss to cut the margin to two with :36 second left, but the game-tying two-point conversion play after the touchdown failed.

The Dons increased their lead to 16-6 just before intermission, scoring on a 39-yard pass from Sawvel to Kendall Becker with :05 second left in the second quarter. They also added the two-point conversion.

Defensively, the Dons forced six turnovers on the day and limited St. Mary's to 25 rushing yards.

The championship is the third in school history for Don Bosco, which won its first state title in 2013. The Hawks (11-1) were in the title game for the first time since 2004, when they won their only crown.

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