116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — First, Iowa City High handed out the kicking.
Then, the Little Hawks took “The Boot.” They left little doubt where the traveling trophy was heading.
Quarterback Drew Larson scored as a passer, rusher and receiver, contributing to six total touchdowns and the Little Hawks dominated crosstown rival Iowa City West, 49-0, in the Battle for the Boot on Friday night at West’s Trojans Field.
“We talk about confidence and preparation and we were really confident in our preparation,” City High Coach Mitch Moore said. “We came out here and played our style of football. This was the first time we played similar to how we did last year — with energy, passion and great communication. Played loose.”
Larson finished with 293 total yards, including 250 and four touchdowns through the air. He added a 1-yard QB sneak for a score and reeled in a 15-yard TD pass from Oliver Kniss.
“I loved it,” Larson said. “I love being on the field at all times, helping my team in any way I can.”
The Little Hawks (2-2) blitzed West early, scoring on their first four possession of the game for a 28-0 lead in the first 14:24 of the game. Ben Kueter rushed for 44 of his 134 yards on the first drive and capped it with a 12-yard TD pass to Carson Newton.
“It’s huge,” Larson said about the opening-drive score. “It’s always the biggest thing for us. Starting off with that touchdown and things start rolling from there.”
Larson went to work, flinging a sidearm pass to Connor Cross cutting through the middle for a 34-yard TD and then scoring on a reception to cap a nine-play, 82-yard drive for a three-touchdown lead before the end of the first.
“We made a huge emphasis on that we want to win this game in the first quarter,” Moore said. “It started with our urgency in practice. We stressed all week about coming out here and playing fast.”
City High capitalized on a turnover and good field position right before the half, returning a fumble to the West 45 with 50 seconds left. Larson rolled to his right and hit Akili Mattox on fourth-and-14 for a 37-yard TD pass. Mattox caught the ball in the flat, turned up field and juked a defender to go in untouched.
Newton and Mattox scored on TD passes of 27 and 13 yards, respectively, in the second half. Newton finished with 86 yards on seven catches and Mattox had 66 on five. Ronnie Major had 150 total yards with 79 receiving.
“Those are athletes,” Larson said. “When they get the ball in their hands, they can make plays happen and lots of yards after I throw it to them.
“It’s awesome throwing to them.”
West (3-2) struggled against City High’s pressure. The Trojans went three-and-out for their first three possessions of the game and didn’t register a first down until midway through the second quarter.
West quarterback Jack Wallace managed just 92 yards passing and the Trojans were held to 27 rushing yards.
City High recorded its second straight 49-point victory over West and improved to 3-2 this season. The Little Hawks snapped West’s three-game win streak. They celebrated with fans and hoisted the longstanding trophy again.
“It’s a huge deal,” Kueter said. “It’s on the East side where it belongs, especially in a dominant fashion. It was great. It was exciting.”