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Prep football rewind: Area teams put down the pads, pick up the shovels

North Linn, Kennedy among those participating in flood assistance

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North Linn’s football game was cancelled Friday night, but the Lynx weren’t exactly idle.

About 20 players were among about 55 North Linn students that descended upon Cedar Rapids to aid in flood preparation.

“They put in a lot of work,” Lynx Coach Jared Collum said. “The kids were pretty tired.”

North Linn was one of several schools that has been active as Cedar Rapids prepares for its second-worst flood in city history — the crest on Monday was projected at 24.5 feet at last report. Cedar Rapids Xavier let school out early Friday so its students could participate. Alburnett and Mount Vernon, among others, were active.

Saturday morning, Cedar Rapids Kennedy sent 65 varsity players to Palo and more than 20 sophomore guys to the NewBo District.

“We’ve got the army out,” Kennedy Coach Brian White said. “We filled about 1,000 sand bags in about 20 minutes.”

Plans were made during Thursday’s team dinner for the Cougars to get out Saturday.

“We just said that sometimes things are more important than football, and this is one of those times,” White said. “We talk about being a family, or being brothers, and now it’s time to practice what we preach. The kids have a good attitude about it.”

North Linn was informed Thursday that its game with Postville would be forfeited (Postville is undergoing an epidemic of impetigo, a contagious skin infection), and Friday was free with an in-service.

“We were going to have weights at 7 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon,” Collum said. “If they sandbagged, that would take place of their lifting.”

The North Linn contingent started at NewBo, then assisted at other businesses downtown.

“It was a really cool experience,” Collum said.

YEAR 2 UPSWING FOR PRAIRIE

Cedar Rapids Prairie posted its biggest win of the Mark Bliss era Friday night, and it left him grasping for words.

“I can’t even really define it,” Bliss said after the Hawks beat Class 4A No. 9 Iowa City West, 39-20, improving to 4-1. “We’re not the biggest team, or the fastest, or the most talented. But these boys really battle for each other.”

The Hawks controlled the line of scrimmage offensively, scoring on four drives that lasted eight plays or more, 60 yards or more.

“Again, it reverts back to the kids,” said Bliss, in his second year at Prairie. “They put a lot of time in the weight room and added strength. They understand our system better. Now, we’re just trying to find more stuff to put into the system. I can’t give the kids enough credit. I just give them direction.”

Prairie has won four straight games and will be a heavy favorite next week at Ottumwa.

WARRIORS SNAP DON BOSCO’S STREAKS

Don Bosco lost a regular-season game for the first time in more than four years, thanks to Elkader Central.

Derek Ehrhardt scored a pair of touchdowns, and the Warriors posted a 44-34 triumph in an 8-player game Friday at Gilbertville, ending the Dons’ 40-game regular-season win streak and their 29-game run of district victories.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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