CEDAR RAPIDS — As playoff primers go, this one looked textbook.
Top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier will charge into the Class 3A playoffs with a full head of steam after scoring 41 first-quarter points and thrashing South Tama, 62-7, in the regular-season finale Friday night at Saints Field.
“It just seemed like all phases of the game were working early on,” Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said. “Hopefully it gives those guys some confidence in all three of those groups that the stuff that we emphasize in practice can pay off.”
The 62 points are a school record for Xavier (9-0, 7-0 District 3), which eclipsed the 59 scored three years ago against DeWitt Central. The Saints’ 27th regular-season win in a row caps a third-consecutive unbeaten regular season.
Xavier will host a first-round playoff game next Friday.
The points came in bunches for the Saints from the opening kickoff, which senior Justin Schneider returned to the South Tama 34-yard-line. On the first play from scrimmage, Xavier senior quarterback Quinn Schulte outran the South Tama defense to the left pylon for a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession, a 30-yard Schneider return of a South Tama fumble quickly pushed the Xavier lead to 14-0 just 50 seconds into the game.
“(Defensive back) Beau Van Berkum made a nice hit and the ball was right in front of me,” Schneider said. “I just scooped it up and it was all green.”
The score was 41-0 by the end of the first quarter after junior Braden Stovie (three yards) and senior McClain Burger (51 yards) tallied touchdown runs, while senior Gabe Lux added punt return TDs of 72 and 61 yards.
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Two second-quarter TD passes from Schulte to Stovie (28 and 66 yards) pushed the margin to 55-0 with 5:15 left until halftime.
“Everybody was just staying on their blocks,” senior offensive lineman John Draker said. “It comes down to everybody just did their job tonight.”
South Tama (2-7, 1-6) avoided a shutout seconds before halftime when quarterback Lane Koch found receiver Nick Ryan for a 16-yard score against the second-team Xavier defense.
Xavier reserve tailback Patrick Chambers led all rushers with 121 yards on the ground, and his two-yard TD with 1:26 to go was the record-breaker.
The Saints outgained South Tama, 450 to 155, in total yardage. The Saints ran for 351.
AT SAINTS FIELD
Class 3A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 62, South Tama 7
South Tama 0 7 0 0—7
Cedar Rapids Xavier 41 14 0 7—62
CRX — Quinn Schulte 34 run (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — Justin Schneider 30 fumble return (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — Braden Stovie 3 run (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — Gabe Lux 72 punt return (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — McClain Burger 51 run (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — Gabe Lux 61 punt return (kick failed)
CRX — Braden Stovie 28 pass from Quinn Schulte (Ben Conrad kick)
CRX — Braden Stovie 66 pass from Quinn Schulte (Ben Conrad kick)
ST — Nick Ryan 16 pass from Lane Koch (Colton Vest kick)
CRX — Patrick Chambers 2 run (Ben Conrad kick)
RUSHING — South Tama: Colton Vest 6-9, Tanner Probasco 5-7, Tanner Walz 7-19, Lane Koch 4-(-20); C.R. Xavier: Quinn Schulte 5-54, Braden Stovie 7-95, Joey Alessio 1-4, Riley Beck 3-10, Patrick Chambers 19-121, Colton Benda 1-2, Gabe Lux 2-13, McClain Burger 2-52.
PASSING — South Tama: Lane Koch 10-26-0-140, Brady Fritz 0-1-0-0, Colton Vest 0-1-0-0; C.R. Xavier: Quinn Schulte 2-6-0-94, Bryson Bastian 1-3-0-5.
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RECEIVING — South Tama: Colton Vest 1-1, Tanner Probasco 4-79, Brady Fritz 3-36, Nick Ryan 1-16, Keith Keahna 1-8; C.R. Xavier: Casey O’Connell 1-5, Braden Stovie 2-94.
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