116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
TIFFIN — This game went off the rails somewhere along the line. Totally and completely off the rails.
To be specific, it began after Cedar Rapids Washington scored a touchdown early in the third quarter to take what appeared to an insurmountable 21-0 lead Friday night.
What followed was ... kinda bonkers.
An ensuing kickoff out of bounds. Backup sophomore quarterback Cale Berry suddenly leading Clear Creek Amana up and down the field, after his team could do very little offensively to that point.
Penalties, were those mentioned? Oh, there were tons and tons of those on both teams.
Several were of the unsportsmanlike conduct variety. You know, late hits, a ball carrier picked up and slammed to the turf, a lot of jawing back and forth.
You had faulty center snaps that sabotaged both teams. There was a blocked punt, a safety, an 85-yard touchdown bomb, a late touchdown and 2-point conversion and an ensuing onside kick that was scrambled for by both teams before Washington recovered.
When this thing was finally, finally over, Washington held on for a 27-24 victory. Somehow.
“Ugly as crap, but an ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” said Washington Coach Maurice Blue.
“That hits the nail on the head,” said Washington’s Watts McBride, after he and his teammates survived their opponent and a ‘spirited’ postgame speech from their coach. “I think we showed some really good things. If we clean up those mistakes, we could be a really good football team.”
McBride had 147 yards rushing, including back-to-back 5-yard runs with two minutes left to finally salt the game away for Washington (3-3, 1-1 in Class 4A District 4). He had his team’s first three touchdowns (on runs of 11, 10 and 39 yards, respectively) and added a 2-point conversion run.
It was an out-of-the-blue 85-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Malik Epps-Keller to Montarious Beard late in the third quarter that restored some Warriors order after Clear Creek Amana (3-3, 1-1) rallied for a pair of TDs to make it a 21-14 game.
McBride was tackled in the end zone after Washington stopped a fourth-and-goal CCA run inside the 1 for a safety that made it a 27-16 game. Berry’s 3-yard touchdown run and 2-point pass to Marcus Lang made it 27-24 with 2:10 left.
Washington recovered an onside kick from the Clippers. The McBride runs ended the game, since CCA had just one remaining timeout.
“We don’t know how to finish, yet,” Blue said. “We’ve got to keep working at that. We do some good things, then we shoot ourselves in the foot. We do some more good things, then we shoot ourselves in the foot. Stupid offside penalties. We usually have three of those in a year, tonight we had three in a half.
“A stupid unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a late hit on the quarterback. Just some stupid stuff. But getting a ‘W’ helps.”
Sophomore Berry came on in relief of injured starter Jackson Schmidt to begin the second quarter and had 136 combined yards rushing and passing. He clearly appeared to get more and more comfortable and confident with the team’s read-option offense as the game wore on.
The win ended a three-game losing streak for Washington, which lost to 5A Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Linn-Mar, as well as 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Warriors played without top cornerback-wide receiver Michael Blank, who was ruled out just before Friday night’s game because of an injury.
Back to the penalty thing, Washington had 11 of them for 115 yards, CCA nine for 85.
“We’ve got to stay disciplined,” McBride said. “We’ve got to keep doing what’s working. Continue to go to our strengths. Everyone’s got to stay locked in and focused throughout the entire game and keep the pedal to the floor.”
Cedar Rapids Washington 27, Clear Creek Amana 24
Cedar Rapids Washington 7 6 14 0-27
Clear Creek Amana 0 0 14 10-24
- CRW-Watts McBride 11 run (Zach Novak kick)
- CRW-McBride 10 run (try failed)
- CRW-McBride 39 run (McBride run)
- CCA-Matthew Schlemme 4 pass from Cale Berry (Max Carlson kick)
- CCA-Marcus Lang 23 run (Carlson kick)
- CRW-Montarious Beard 85 pass from Malik Epps-Keller (try failed)
- CCA-Safety, Washington runner tackled in end zone
- CCA-Berry 3 run (Lang pass from Berry)
First Downs - Cedar Rapids Washington 14, Clear Creek Amana 14. Rushes-Yards: Cedar Rapids Washington 28-157, Clear Creek Amana 50-203. Passing: Cedar Rapids Washington 9-18-3-170, Clear Creek Amana 6-15-1-61. Total Yards: Cedar Rapids Washington 327, Clear Creek Amana 264. Punts-Avg.: Cedar Rapids Washington 2-13.0, Clear Creek Amana 3-32.5. Penalties-Yards: Cedar Rapids Washington 11-115, Clear Creek Amana 9-85. Fumbles-Lost: Cedar Rapids Washington 0-0, Clear Creek Amana 1-0.
Rushing - C.R. Washington: Watts McBride 18-147, Malik Epps-Keller 8-21, Alex Taylor 6-9, Team 2-(minus) 11. Clear Creek Amana: Sam Pettinger 15-84, Cale Berry 23-71, Marcus Lang 6-37, Jackson Schmidt 5-22, Team 1-(minus) 11.
Passing - C.R. Washington: Malik Epps-Keller 9-18-3-170. Clear Creek Amana: Cale Berry 5-10-1-65, Jackson Schmidt 1-5-0-(minus) 4.
Receiving - C.R. Washington: Montarious Beard 1-85, Brock Davis 4-33, Watts McBride 2-21, Caiden Buonnadonna 1-19, Brisahn Fields 1-12. Clear Creek-Amana: Marcus Lang 2-46, Reece Hoffman 1-9, Sam Pettinger 1-6, Matthew Schlemme 1-4, Brody Clubb 1-(minus) 4.
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