116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Mark Atwater wasn’t taken by surprise when Waterloo Columbus went for the win in overtime.
“I kind of thought they would go for two,” said Atwater, in his fourth year as head coach at Dyersville Beckman. “They were a little gassed and were struggling to stop us.”
Beckman’s Elliot Naughton broke up a 2-point pass attempt in the end zone, and the Blazers won a wild Class 1A District 4 encounter, 35-34, to improve to 6-0.
“It was chaos afterward,” Atwater said. “The loudest game we’ve had since I’ve been here. It was homecoming and I think every student was on the field afterward. It was a neat thing for our community.”
Beckman rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit, scoring 21 straight points for a 28-21 lead, then prevailed in overtime after Columbus tied it near the end of regulation.
Owen Huehnergarth rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns, sending his season yardage total to 936.
“He a bruiser, he’s fun to watch and just the epitome of what our team is all about,” Atwater said.
That’s the kind of team that Atwater, 27, envisioned when he came aboard. After playing at Linn-Mar and Coe College, his first high school job came at Estherville-Lincoln Central.
But he wanted to come back to Eastern Iowa. And despite his big-school roots, he felt a tug toward a program Beckman’s size.
“This is what I’ve always wanted,” he said. “I’ve got guys missing our film session (Saturday) because they have to be on the farm, and I’m OK with that.”
Atwater is a coach’s son; his father, Larry, coached at the high school level and at Coe.
“The two biggest influences in my life are my father and (the late) Steve Staker,” he said. “Steve meant everything to me, everything to Dad. I hope to have the relationships with my players that he had with me.”
Quarterback Cayden Gassmann scored on third-and-7 for Beckman’s overtime touchdown.
Another stand for Cedar Rapids Xavier
When Cedar Rapids Xavier won at West Delaware in Week 3, it needed a game-saving stand on a last-minute 2-point conversion.
The Saints made another game-changing stand Friday at Pella.
With Xavier leading 7-3, the Dutch drove to the 1-yard line, but the Saints held there, and that momentum shift triggered them to a 28-3 road victory.
Xavier is 5-1 overall, 2-0 in Class 4A District 4.
“This is a resilient team,” Saints Coach Duane Schulte said. “We plug along. The guys accept their roles, and those roles change throughout the course of a season.”
Pella opened the scoring with a field goal, then the Saints scored the final 28 points.
“We were able to execute, and the line did its job, opening some holes for the backs,” Schulte said.
All wrapped up: Teams with playoff spots clinched
About half of the playoff bids in 2A, 1A, A and 8-Player have been determined.
Thirty-two teams qualify in each of those four classes, with the postseason beginning in three weeks.
Leading the postseason crew are North Linn and Lisbon, both of which have already clinched district championships.
North Linn (6-0) wrapped up the Class A District 4 title with a 43-0 blanking of Starmont. It was the Lynx’s fourth shutout of the season, and they have allowed 20 points through six games, fewest in Class A.
Class A District 5 champion Lisbon (5-1) won its fifth straight game, 58-7 over Pekin. The Lions have been stingy defensively as well, yielding 7.5 points per contest.
District 4: Waukon, Union Community, North Fayette Valley
District 5: Northeast
District 6: Davis County, Williamsburg, Mid-Prairie
District 4: Dyersville Beckman
District 5: Iowa City Regina, West Branch
District 6: Sigourney-Keota, Pella Christian, Central Decatur
District 3: North Tama, Grundy Center, Wapsie Valley
District 4: *North Linn, East Buchanan
District 5: *Lisbon
District 6: Belle Plaine, Lynnville-Sully, Ogden
District 3: Turkey Valley, Janesville
District 4: Easton Valley
District 5: WACO, English Valleys
District 6: Montezuma, Baxter
* clinched district championship