INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
WAVERLY — Top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier traveled to Waverly Friday night in a hotly contested matchup with Class 3A, District 3 rival Waverly-Shell Rock.
The Saints went marching home with a very dominant 42-0 victory, putting the pressure on the Go-Hawks to win their final two games for a shot at the playoffs.
The Saints (7-0, 5-0) jumped on the Go-Hawks early and very often as they built a 22-0 advantage after the first period, and stretched that to a 36-0 lead at halftime.
Maliki Wilson became Xavier’s all-time leading rusher in the victory.
The Go-Hawks (4-3, 3-2) began the game well when Jackson Little returned the opening kickoff to midfield, but a fumble two plays later dashed the hopes of an early lead.
The Saints quickly turned the miscue into points as they marched 57 yards in six plays and capped the opportunity with an eight-yard scoring run by quarterback Bryce Schulte.
The Go-Hawks began digging a deeper hole with yet another fumble that was covered up in the end zone, awarding the Saints with a safety.
Getting the ball back on a free kick, the Saints went 59 yards in nine plays and once again finished with Schulte banging in from a yard out.
The point spread continued to grow as the Saints scored on touchdown passes of 11 and 41 yards from Schulte, with Brett Burns and Nolan Butkowski on the receiving end.
The Saints finished a near perfect half with Schulte calling his own number from the 1, and the visitors took a 36-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
“We got punched in the nose tonight and we will have to fight back,” Go-Hawks Coach Mark Hubbard said. “They (Saints) showed why they are the No. 1 team (in 3A) and we now have to get ready for next week.”