CEDAR RAPIDS — Oliver Martin saw something.
“I noticed that they changed their defense a little bit. (Quarterback Ethan Postler) and I kind of looked at each other. I thought maybe I could get a post (route).”
Suddenly, Iowa City West went from clock-killing mode to game-breaking potential.
Postler hooked up with Martin for a 64-yard bomb to put the game away, and West defeated Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 24-10, in an important Class 4A District 8 football contest Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
West (5-2 overall, 2-1 district) has the inside track for the second playoff spot from 4A-8.
“After we lost to Cedar Rapids Prairie a couple weeks ago, we pretty much knew we would have to win the Kennedy game,” Martin said.
“Defense wins in October,” West Coach Garrett Hartwig said. “To hold them to 10 points speaks to these young men.”
The Trojans ruled the first half on the way to a 17-0 lead, Kennedy (4-3, 2-1) got within 17-10, then West’s playmaker made a play to clinch it.
Rizaiha Maide scored on a 2-yard TD run to get the Cougars within striking range with 4:29 remaining.
The Trojans converted a third-and-1 for a first down, then faced second-and-8 after the Cougars called a timeout.
Martin went deep, and Postler found him. Martin outjumped two defenders for the ball, then ran the final 35 yards untouched.
“It might have been a little underthrown. We all went up at the same time,” Martin said. “I just tried to catch the ball.”
It was Postler’s third touchdown pass of the night, his second to Martin.
Postler took over at quarterback after Evan Flitz was injured in the Prairie game.
“A great thing about this team, I felt all along that we had two varsity quarterbacks,” Hartwig said. “And we’ve got great players around them.”
West ruled the first half in every way possible, most importantly by a 17-0 margin on the scoreboard.
The Trojans ran 35 plays from scrimmage, compared to 16 for the Cougars, and rolled up a 166-39 advantage in yardage.
After a nondescript first series (three negative plays and a punt), West came to life on its second drive. It started with a 59-yard run by Devontae Lane to the Kennedy 13-yard line, and six plays later with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Postler to Lane.
West made it 10-0 on Lucas Karwal’s 29-yard field goal with 6:09 left in the half, then Postler connected with Martin in the right side of the end zone for a 5-yard score with 16 seconds remaining before intermission.
Alex Stone’s 35-yard field goal early in the third quarter got the Cougars within 17-3.
West is at Linn-Mar next week; Kennedy is at Ottumwa.
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