116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Ball hogs, that’s what they were. Big, bad, bullying ball hogs.
And that’s all meant with the utmost respect.
Class 4A second-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier played keepaway from No. 10 Clear Creek Amana in the first half, converting three long, time-consuming drives into touchdowns. The Saints took firm control of the Class 4A District 4 football race with a 34-7 triumph Friday night at Saints Field.
“It starts with the linemen up the hill with the sled,” said running back Will Hiserote, who carried the ball 27 times in the first half, when he rushed for 167 of his 188 yards. “That’s how we’re built.”
Xavier Coach Duane Schulte set the tone with a gutsy call early in the second offensive drive, going for it on fourth-and-1 from the Saints 25-yard line with the Saints up 7-0.
“I just felt like I wanted to keep the ball,” Schulte said.
They kept it. And kept it. And kept it.
Hiserote picked up 5 yards on that pivotal play, which turned out to be a microcosm of the game.
“We were just confident that the could get him some space,” right guard Nate Westhoff said. “As a lineman, you try to get off the ball and stay low. You try to wear down the opponent, and because of that, we went on some long drives.
“That’s just the physical nature of football. It’s fun to be physical.”
How dominant was Xavier in the first half? Let the numbers tell the story:
* The Saints (6-1, 3-0 district) held the ball for 19 minutes, 46 seconds, compared to 4:14 for the Clippers (5-2, 2-1). Xavier ran 45 plays from scrimmage; CCA ran 11.
* Xavier racked up 296 yards of total offense. CCA managed 31, and that included a 32-yard run by Gage Freeman.
* The Saints accumulated 15 first downs, putting together scoring drives of 66 yards (on 10 plays), 84 yards (14 plays) and 94 yards (15 plays). The Clippers had one first down.
Hiserote concluded two of those drives with TD runs of 8 and 3 yards. Aidan McDermott had the other first-half score, a 17-yard pass from Alex Neal.
As a result, Xavier has sole possession of the district lead with two games to go, a pair of road contests against Newton and Oskaloosa.
Xavier finished with a 427-213 yardage advantage. The Saints did pretty much what they wanted, both by land (about 5 yards per carry) and by air (Neal completed 11 of 16 passes for 168 yards).
They didn’t punt all night, and there was little to nitpick about at halftime.
“We just reminded them of some fundamental things,” Schulte said, praising the line — Nate Royer at left tackle, Thomas Reinwart at left guard, Jake Dougherty at center, Westhoff at right guard and Ben Volk at right tackle.
Justin Trcka got some valuable reps off the bench, and fullback Christian Stanek made an impact, as well.
Josef Lemker started the second-half scoring with a 35-yard TD reception to make it 28-0. Trysten Vasquez hit four PATs and a pair of second-half field goals.
Harrison Rosenberg caught 11 passes for 118 yards, scoring CCA’s lone touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Ben Swails.
The Clippers host Pella next week.
Cedar Rapids Xavier 34, Clear Creek Amana 7
AT SAINTS FIELD
First downs: CCA 14, CRX 24
Rushes-yards: CCA 24-66, CRX 53-259
Passing yards: CCA 147, CRX 168
Passing: CCA 17-31-0, CRX 11-16-0
Total yards: CCA 213, CRX 427
Fumbles-lost: CCA 1-1, CRX 1-0
Punts-average: CCA 3-32.3, CRX 0-00.0
Penalties-yards: CCA 4-35, CRX 6-55
Clear Creek Amana 0 0 7 0 -- 7
C.R. Xavier 7 14 10 3 -- 34
CRX -- Will Hiserote 8 run (Trysten Vasquez kick)
CRX -- Aidan McDermott 17 pass from Alex Neal (Vasquez kick)
CRX -- Hiserote 3 run (Vasquez kick)
CRX -- Josef Lemker 35 pass from Neal (Vasquez kick)
CCA -- Harrison Rosenberg 20 pass from Ben Swails (Grant Kruse kick)
CRX -- FG Vasquez 34
CRX -- FG Vasquez 35
CCA -- Gage Freeman 7-53, Xavier Williams 4-7, Ben Swails 12-5, Jackson Schmidt 1-1. Xavier -- Will Hiseroth 31-188, Aiden Henry 5-29, Alex Neal 6-27, Christian Stanek 8-18.
CCA -- Swails 17-31-0-147. Xavier -- Neal 11-16-0-168.
CCA -- Harrison Rosenberg 11-118, Jackson Stevens 4-12, Andrew Schlemme 1-14, Freeman 1-3. Xavier -- Aidan McDermott 5-84, Josef Lemker 4-62, Trysten Vasquez 1-16, Hiserote 1-6.