MAQUOKETA, Iowa — It was an exciting end to a strange game.

Maquoketa fell 5-4 in eight innings in the Class 3A Substate 4 final to conference rival Western Dubuque.

The Bobcats loaded the bases in the top of the eighth inning before senior Ryan Lehmann sent a screaming line drive back up the middle to score the winning run.

Western Dubuque scored two runs moments before a storm rolled through, delaying the game 2 hours, 14 minutes. An Iowa High School State Athletic Association rule states that when lightning is spotted the game must be delayed for 30 minutes. The first bolt struck at 8:27 p.m.

Things looked good for Maquoketa early as it scored three runs in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead, chasing Bobcats starter Brendan McCoy after 2 1/3 innings.

Western Dubuque kept chipping at the lead, though, scoring a run in their half of the third before getting two more in the fifth as the skies opened.

The Cardinals scored in the top of the seventh on a single, a wild pitch, an error and a fielder’s choice to force extra innings at

4-4.

“They did everything you could ask for coming out of that two-hour delay,” Maquoketa coach Raymond Cavanaugh said. “It’s what they’ve done all season. They did whatever was best for the team.”