Sep 29, 2017 at 11:52 pm | Print View
WILTON – If there were any questions about Iowa City Regina’s strength after a slow start, consider them answered.
Their message came in loud and clear against what appeared their biggest challenge to district dominance.
The third-ranked Regals rolled to a 50th straight district win, handling No. 10 Wilton, 49-7, Friday night in Class 1A District 4 action at Wilton. Regina seized sole possession of the district lead.
The Regals (4-2, 4-0) may have wanted to prove a point after an uncharacteristic 0-2 start to the season.
“Everyone is thinking we’re down,” Vollstedt said. “With these last few wins, I think we’ve really sent a statement to the whole state, knowing that we’re back.”
Regina rushed to a big lead, including five first-half touchdown runs that resulted in a 28-point second quarter.
Vollstedt spearheaded the ground game, amassing 149 yards – all before halftime.
“The offensive line was doing a great job opening up holes for me,” Vollstedt said. “It made my job easier.”
The senior running back sparked the Regals in the opening quarter. He bounced to the outside, turning the right corner and sprinting 40 yards for the score and 6-0 lead almost midway through the first.
“I saw the inside was plugged,” Vollstedt said. “There was a small hole outside, bounced it outside and took it from there.”
Vollstedt’s big-play ability can provide a boost to the entire team. The Regals picked up steam, resulting in TD runs of 6, 5 and 9 yards from Vollstedt in the second quarter, allowing Regina to pull away for a 34-0 lead at the break.
“It’s huge,” Cook said. “Everyone gets more traction. The linemen want to block longer. They want to fit up a little better. They realize he can do that any given time, as well as Jake (Phillips).”
Phillips made a big contribution to the rush attack to give the Regals a 42-0 lead with 8:37 left in the third and forcing a continuous clock. Phillips made an impressive cut and followed it by hurdling a defender and then spinning away from another tackler to finish a 27-yard TD run.
“Jake’s run was one of the best high school football runs I’ve ever seen,” Cook said. “It was a combination of power, speed and quickness. It was pretty amazing.”
Regina finished with 488 total yards of offense, including 256 rushing yards. Michael Conlon threw for 139 yards and rushed for 47 more, including a 2-yard score for a 13-0 lead with 9:38 left in the second quarter.
The Regals have now outscored four district foes, 192-41.
“It is little things like getting the ball outside quickly to playmakers,” Cook said. “Getting the ball in space and mixing it up with the inside run is a combination I think is going.”
Regina’s defense forced four first-half turnovers, including three interceptions. The Wilton miscues led to 13 points.
Regina improves to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the district. Wilton fell to 5-1 and 3-1. The Regals finished with five takeaways, limiting a potent Wilton offense to less than 140 yards of total offense. The Beavers averaged 346 yards per game through the first five games.
“We just made plays,” Regina defensive lineman Cole White said. “As a team, we all got to the football and made big plays when we needed.”
Jerome Mays accounted for more than 100 yards for Wilton (5-1, 3-1). He rushed for 75 yards, including a 9-yard TD, and threw for 38.
Regina moves into the driver’s seat of the district, facing three of the bottom four programs to end the regular season. The Regals host Van Buren next week.
“Every week is another challenge,” White said. “We have to work hard every week to keep getting the wins.”
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