MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Saturday night, Cedar Rapids Titans defensive tackle Maurice Chavis welcomed the U.S. Cellular Center crowd with a boisterous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Unfortunately for the Titans, the national anthem elicited the largest cheer of the night against league juggernaut Sioux Falls.
The six-time defending Indoor Football League champions scored the first 23 points of the game and routed Cedar Rapids, 46-21, before 2,842 fans.
“On offense, we didn’t get it going,” Cedar Rapids Coach Marvin McNutt said. “We’ve got to make the right reads. You’ve got to run the right routes and block the right people. At the end of the day, it really comes down to us executing. We didn’t do that today and it showed.”
The Cedar Rapids defense did their best to hold the Storm down in the first quarter. Sioux Falls had 1st-and-goal opportunities from the Titans’ 1, 3, and 1-yard-lines on its first three drives of the game, but managed just a field goal each time.
“It’s the mindset,” McNutt said. “When those guys get backed up, they’re like a bull. They want to attack and they make sure you don’t get any more yards.”
On offense, Cedar Rapids (1-6) provided no answers as it had a field goal blocked, was intercepted, turned the ball over on downs and had a fumble recovered in its own end zone through the first four possessions.
“Just missed assignments,” said former Hawkeyes receiver Damond Powell, who caught four passes for 69 yards. “Coming out too fast, our head wasn’t in it. As the game got going on, we got our heads right but it was too late.”
Trailing 23-0 with less than six minutes until halftime, Cedar Rapids quarterback Brion Carnes closed the half with a pair of touchdown passes – two yards to Marcus Barnett and a 37-yarder to former University of Kansas receiver Tre Parmalee, who caught three passes for 46 yards, that pulled the Titans within 30-15 with 48 seconds until halftime.
Sioux Falls (6-0) threatened with another 1st-and-goal chance to close the first half, but again were stymied. Storm kicker Justin Syrovatka converted his fourth field goal of the first half with one second on the clock, which gave his team a 33-15 halftime lead.
The Storm pushed the lead to 43-15 after three quarters when Syrovatka — who finished six-of-seven in field goal attempts — converted a 30-yarder.
“That changes games, but our guys, we have to be able to execute for that,” McNutt said.
A 13-yard touchdown run by Sioux Falls quarterback Lorenzo Brown, Jr. – his second of the game – closed the third-quarter scoring output. Brown, Jr. finished the game with 94 yards passing, 24 rushing and three total touchdowns without a turnover.
Sioux Falls defensive back Elijah Fields intercepted two passes off Carnes, who finished with 141 yards passing, three scores and three interceptions. A 3-yard TD pass from Carnes to tailback Julian Hayes with 2:45 to go prevented a second-half shutout of the Titans, who managed just three rushing yards.
“We feel like we’re getting better,” said linebacker Robert Haynes, who collected six tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, in his fifth game with the Titans. “That’s all we’re trying to do right now; get better game to game and the victories will start coming.”
The Titans visit Wichita Falls (6-1) this Friday and will return to the U.S. Cellular Center April 22 against the Iowa Barnstormers (4-2).
Storm 46, Titans 21
AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER
First downs 16 11
Rushes-yards 29-104 7-3
Passing 93 118
Comp-Att-Int 7-22-0 15-27-3
Return Yards 40 0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 11-121 8-29
Time of Possession 34:52 24:18
Sioux Falls 9 24 10 3—46
Cedar Rapids 0 15 0 6—21
SF—FG 22 Justin Syrovatka
SF—FG 17 Syrovatka
SF—FG 14 Syrovatka
SF—Melvin German III 22 pass from Lorenzo Brown (Syrovatka kick)
SF—Chris Baker 0 fumble return (Syrovatka)
CR—Marcus Bennett 2 pass from Brion Carnes (Micha Georgetti kick)
SF—Brown 2 run (Syrovatka kick)
CR—Tre’ Parmalee 37 pass from Carnes (Damond Powell pass from Carnes)
SF—FG 14 Syrovatka
SF—FG 30 Syrovatka
SF—Brown 13 run (Syrovatka kick)
SF—FG 25 Syrovatka
CR—Julian Hayes 3 pass from Carnes (pass failed)
Rushing — Sioux Falls: Robbie Rouse 15-74; Lorenzo Brown 7-24; Mike Tatum 2-5; Drew Powell 3-2; Korey Williams 2-(-1); Cedar Rapids: Brion Carnes 3-8; Jamuel Jones 1-(-2); Juliam Hayes 3-(-3).
Passing — Sioux Falls: Lorenzo Brown 7-22-93-0; Cedar Rapids: Brion Carnes 15-27-141-3.
Receiving — Sioux Falls: Melvin german III 4-64; Korey Williams 2-16; Mike Tatum 1-13; Cedar Rapids: Damond Powell 4-69; Tre’ parmalee 4-56; Julian Hayes 2-7; Marcus Barnett 4-6; Jamuel Jones 1-3.
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