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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City Regina relied on its game plan to run the ball straight to victory on Friday night in its home opener against Williamsburg.
In a matchup of Class 1A No. 4 Iowa City Regina and Class 2A No. 7 Williamsburg, the Regals rode their ground game to a 16-14 victory.
“Williamsburg ran some stuff we didn’t see in the first half, so we made some adjustments defensively,” Iowa City Regina head coach Jason Dumont said. “But it’s just next play, that’s our motto here, things are going to go wrong, especially first game of the year and you’ve just got to move on.”
The Raiders had no answer for the Regals’ ground game backed by junior Levi Daniel, who rushed for 116 yards and one touchdown in the first half of play. Daniel finished the game with 190 yards on 20 attempts, averaging 4.75 yards per carry. Both quarterbacks — sophomore Gentry Dumont and junior Jack Tierney — saw time on the field. Dumont went 2-for-6 for 21 yards passing while Tierney went 1-for-5 for 5 yards.
Williamsburg quarterback Cade Ritchie struggled with the Regals’ pressure from the line, and threw two interceptions. The ground game didn’t work either, as the Raiders attempted to use junior Ben Roberts and Owen Douglas at running back to gain ground. With no gaps up the middle, both backs struggled to gain yardage on the edge.
The one shining light of the first half for the Raiders was when they recovered Dumont’s fumble in the end zone in the second quarter, but were unable to make anything of it due to Jensen’s interception.
But the Raiders came out with new energy in the third, capitalizing on field position deep in enemy territory, scoring on two of three to take a 14-10 lead.
Ritchie connected on 12 and 14-yard passes to carry a drive and set up a 15-yard touchdown reception by Jake Weber. After forcing the Raiders to go four-and-out, Ritchie rattled off both a 28-yard pass and 2-yard touchdown pass to Gavin Doehrmann to capture the 14-10 lead. He finished with 82 yards passing in the second half mostly backed by wide receivers Gavin Doehrmann, Jake Weber and Kobe Julius, who had 30, 23 and 21 yards receiving respectively.
But in the end, the game came down to who had the ball last.
“We just couldn’t get out of our way with a lot of inexperienced guys on offense and it showed,” Williamsburg head coach Curt Ritchie said. “They’re (Regina) good up front, they did a good job of shielding us off.”
Daniel put together 43 yards rushing to carry the Regals to the 3-yard line. Junior Jack Tierney carried it the rest of the way in for a touchdown with 22 seconds left, leaving no time for Williamsburg to put together a drive long enough to win.
“My linemen were blocking everything, picking up stuff and I ran it down field every single time, I couldn’t play without them,” Daniel said. “I couldn’t stop, I had to get those last two yards.”
Correction: This story has been updated to the correct order of Levi Daniel’s first and last name.
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