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Washington blasts Jefferson in district opener, 44-0

After scoreless first quarter, Warriors pull away

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CEDAR RAPIDS – Cedar Rapids Washington’s Drew Dostal received applause and a handshake during halftime.

He was announced as part of the Homecoming Court. The ovation and congratulatory gesture could have been for his first-half performance.

Dostal scored the only touchdowns of the first half, helping third-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington (5-0, 1-0) to a 44-0 victory over crosstown rival Cedar Rapids Jefferson (0-5, 0-1) in the Class 4A District 5 opener Thursday night at Kingston Stadium.

After a scoreless first, the wide receiver and defensive back found another way to produce. This time on special teams. With the J-Hawks pinned at their own 3, Dostal was turned around on a booming punt and picked it up on a bounce at the Washington 41.

It didn’t take long for him to break free and was escorted downfield by a couple teammates for a 59-yard return and a 7-0 lead with 10:00 to go in the first quarter.

The Warriors’ second TD was just as dramatic. Dostal made a diving grab on Bryan Kunde’s 20-yard pass for a score, converting on 4th-and-9. The reception capped a 7-play, 74-yard drive that was aided by two straight offsides penalties by Jefferson.

Kunde also connected on TD passes of 70 and 34 yards to a wide-open Cade Saylor. The latter made it 44-0 with 5:42 remaining. Kunde finished with 152 passing yards.

Washington capitalized on Jefferson miscues in the second half to pull away. The Warriors turned a J-Hawk fumble inside their own 10 into an Andrew Hammer 24-yard field goal.

Linebacker Ian Thomas picked off a pass from Noah Vawter and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown, making it 24-0 in the third. The Warriors’ second blocked punt of the night was scooped up by O’Rien Vance and returned six yards for a TD and 37-0 lead with 9:37 left in the game.

Mistakes also hurt the J-Hawks, who had eight infractions for 58 yards through the first two quarters. They appeared to have a 7-0 lead when Dylan Hart hit Devonte Taylor for a 36-yard TD, but it was called back for pass interference. It was one of two drives that reached Washington territory, but didn’t yield points.

Play was sloppy at times in the opening half. The teams traded turnovers near the end of the first quarter.

Thomas blocked a punt deep in J-Hawk territory, giving the Warriors the ball at the Jefferson 8 and a chance to break the scoreless tie. On the first play from scrimmage, Kunde’s pass ricocheted off a receiver at the goal line. Jefferson’s Matthew Moore plucked it out of the air in the back of the end zone for a touchback.

Washington will host Cedar Falls next Friday. Jefferson hosts Waterloo West next Thursday.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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