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IOWA CITY – This wasn’t the same Iowa City West team from the last two weeks.
You know, the team that tallied 930 total yards and scored more than 36 points a game. The good thing is it wasn’t the same team that allowed 22 points apiece to foes.
The fifth-ranked Trojans showed glimpses of their potent offense in the second half and gutted out a 17-10 victory over No. 9 Cedar Falls in a Class 4A non-district game Friday night at Trojans Field.
The big-play ability was displayed on West’s first offensive play in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Oliver Martin beat the defenders down the center of the field on a post pattern. Quarterback Evan Flitz hit him in stride for a 73-yard touchdown, giving West a 10-0 lead with 11:01 remaining.
The touchdown came on the heels of Lucas Karwal’s 36-yard field goal, putting West up 3-0 with 1:08 to go in the third.
Facing 3rd-and-4 from the Tigers’ 46, West iced the victory and a 3-0 start to the season with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Flitz to Jacquese Parks with 1:35 left.
Flitz threw for 249 yards, including 104 to Martin. Parks had 66 receiving yards on two catches. Andre White led the Trojans with 69 rushing yards, including 56 after halftime.
Defense ruled in the opening half. Neither team had luck moving the ball in the first half, combining for 11 punts. West began to move the ball in the second half, producing drives of 52 and 54 yards before the scoring strike. The Trojans more than twice as many first downs – 10 – as they did in the first half.
Cedar Falls found some success early, running with Hayden Clausen, who had 26 yards on 10 carries, including an 11-yard gain for the first of two Tigers first downs before halftime.
Clausen finished with 79 rushing yards, plunging in for a 1-yard TD with three seconds left in the game.
West suffered losses in its first two possessions and three of its first five.
Cedar Falls had a golden opportunity with 3:29 left in the second quarter, forcing West to punt from inside its 10 and taking over at the Trojans’ 35. The team that has allowed 22 points per game stiffened, stopping a fourth-down run at the 26.
The Trojans’ offense followed with its best drive of the first half with 1:47 to play. West notched one of four first downs on consecutive rushing gains from Flitz.
Flitz then took to the air, completing three straight passes to move West to Cedar Falls territory. West got a little greedy, throwing deep down the near sideline for Martin. Tigers defender Seb Gearhart timed his leap perfectly, batting the pass toward the hash mark and into the arms of teammate Gabe Penrith, who intercepted it and returned it to the 45 where Cedar Falls ran out the final seconds to preserve a scoreless tie at the break.
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