CEDAR RAPIDS - This time, Iowa City West was the best.
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At 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, you won’t confuse Gage Hazen-Fabor with a bruising power back.
“He’s not going to run you over,” Williamsburg football coach Curt Ritchie said. “But he’s very elusive, very explosive.”
Explosive. That would describe the Raiders in general.
Williamsburg (4-0) upped its Class 2A-best scoring average to 55.5 points per game when it blasted Camanche, 63-6, in a 2A District 5 game Friday at home.
The Raiders have outscored their first four foes by a margin of 222-33. With Waukon’s loss at Cascade on Friday, there’s a good chance they will climb to No. 1 when the Gazette/KGYM poll is released Monday.
“This is a very close-knit, gritty, fun team,” Ritchie said. “So much closer than last year. They really like to compete.”
Usually, an experienced line can help a young running back find his way. This year at Williamsburg, it’s the opposite.
“We replaced four or five offensive linemen,” Ritchie said. “We’ve had some guys step up ... and Gage can make an offensive line look good, too.”
Hazen-Fabor rushed for 234 yards on 18 carries Friday, scoring five touchdowns. The junior has netted 867 yards through four games, averaging 11.1 per carry, and 10 TDs.
Defensively, the Raiders have been led by a line led by Ben Subbert — whom Ritchie said has received multiple FCS offers — as well as Brandon Blythe and Graeson Trevino.
Williamsburg will be favored to be undefeated when it faces Mount Vernon on the road in Week 9.
4A DISTRICT FORAYS BEGIN
This time next week, only one Class 4A unbeaten will be left standing on the east side of the state.
District play begins for the big-school teams next week, and that includes a District 8 showdown at Iowa City West — the second-ranked Trojans and No. 9 Cedar Rapids Prairie both are 4-0.
West, Prairie and Cedar Rapids Kennedy (3-1) figure to battle for the two playoff spots from District 8.
After missing the playoffs last year, Cedar Falls (3-1) looks like the favorite in District 5, with Cedar Rapids Washington (2-2) and Waterloo West (3-1) the prime challengers.
Pleasant Valley (3-1) leads the list of contenders in District 6, and Bettendorf (3-1) is a heavy favorite to capture the District 7 title.
BLADT JOINS 400-WIN CLUB
Harlan Coach Curt Bladt became the third football coach in state history to reach 400 victories when the Cyclones won at Glenwood, 17-14, Friday.
Bladt is in his 40th season, all at Harlan, and owns a career mark of 400-59. He has led the Cyclones to 11 state championships, most recently in 2009.
Dick Tighe is the state leader with 432 wins in a 63-year career at five schools, most notably at Webster City. Ankeny Centennial Coach Jerry Pezzetti is next at 405.
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