116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS — After a rough season-opening loss, Cedar Rapids Prairie has bounced back with two strong victories.
The Hawks’ rebound intersected with some revenge.
Prairie lost a heartbreaker to Cedar Falls last season, taking the lead in the final minute only to allow the decisive touchdown with seven seconds remaining in a 24-21 thriller. This time, the Hawks left nothing to chance, leading throughout and dropping Class 5A sixth-ranked Cedar Falls, 24-7, Friday night at the UNI-Dome.
It was Prairie’s first win at Cedar Falls since 2013.
“Our kids were pretty resilient,” Prairie Coach Mark Bliss said. “They came off the ball and did some good things. They were focused.
“I think that taste was still in their mouth (from last year). They wanted to make sure they got rid of that taste. We went into their place, which Cedar Falls has over a 90-percent winning percentage in their building, and we were fortunate to come away with a win.”
Cedar Falls hadn’t given up a point through the first two weeks. Makelle Taylor cracked that goose egg with a 76-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He posted his second straight 100-yard game, rushing for 113 yards on 12 carries and increasing his season total to 350 and 55. Taylor has also scored in all three games this year.
Prairie’s rush attack amassed 279 yards with 170 before halftime as the Hawks built a 17-7 lead at the break.
“I was excited we were able to do that to them because of the two shutouts,” Bliss said. “We knew it was going to be physical. We knew it was going to be a battle. For us to go out and do what we did was a good thing. Hopefully, we can build off that and keep getting better.”
Prairie’s defense stifled the Tigers, who outscored Johnston and Waterloo West by a combined 71-0. The Hawks defense kept Cedar Falls out of the end zone and allowed just 141 yards of total offense, including 67 on the ground. The lone Tigers touchdown was from a kickoff return.
“Our biggest thing is controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and that’s kind of our credo,” Bliss said. “We try to get movement on the line on offense and control the line of scrimmage, getting penetration.”
Prairie plays at Bettendorf (0-3) in Week 4. Muscatine’s Ty Cozad rushed for 391 yards in a 37-34 win over the Bulldogs Friday.
Marion Wolves win
Marion notched its first victory over the season, knocking off a 3A No. 7 Benton Community, 38-14, at Thomas Park. The Wolves snapped a seven-game losing streak and claimed their first win since beating DeWitt Central on Sept. 17, 2021 at home.
The Wolves matched their win total from last season and they are focused on continued progress.
“The biggest thing we need to do is to understand that we haven’t arrived or finished in our journey,” Marion Coach Michael Joyner said. “We need to keep getting better because the final score and our effort was really awesome, but there are still little things that can help us going forward.
“Make sure we are still taking the correct steps, recognizing formations and covering kicks. It’s cliché, but it’s all a process but building on wins is much more enjoyable than trying to find it after a loss.”
Marion (1-2) pulled away thanks to 14 points in both the second and third quarters, building a 17-6 lead at halftime. The Wolves held the Bobcats to just 104 yards of offense and one rushing TD.
The Wolves won the battle between their offense that scored a mere 13 points and a Benton defense that allowed just seven points prior to Week 3. Marion tallied its highest point total since a 46-0 win over Clinton two years ago.
“(Friday) night was a culmination of the hard work the players and coaches have been putting in for the last 10 months,” Joyner said. “We saw glimpses of a good football team all camp, but we didn’t really have an identity. We tried to be an RPO (run-pass option) team and use our playmakers on the edge and that didn’t work as we foresaw.
“So, we went back to the basics and doubled down on creating an identity of being a hard-nosed, tough, running football team. We have good football players who really bought into the philosophy and the proof is how we played Friday.”
Alburnett’s strong start
Alburnett moved to 3-0 this season behind another staunch defensive effort. The Pirates recorded their second straight shutout, beating host Lisbon, 14-0, Friday night. Alburnett downed Pekin, 42-0, last week and hasn’t allow a point since the fourth quarter of its 16-13 season-opening victory over North Linn.
Alburnett has posted its best start in seven seasons. This marks the first time the Pirates have won their first three games since starting 6-0 in 2015. They face East Buchanan (2-1) next week at home.
Montezuma Braves battle back
Montezuma produced a massive comeback for a 54-50 victory over ninth-ranked BGM in 8-Player action Friday at Brooklyn.
The Braves (3-1) trailed 44-22 at half and were down 20 entering the final quarter. Montezuma erupted for 24 points and shut the Bears out in the fourth.
Owen Cook powered Montezuma with 270 yards passing and five touchdowns. He added 30 yards and a score on the ground and contributed two conversions for 40 total points. Garrett Watts and Masin Shearer were Cook’s top targets. Watts finished with 172 receiving yards on six catches, including four TDs. Shearer had 94 yards on seven receptions with a score.
Late heroics lift Western Dubuque
Western Dubuque needed some late-game magic and freshman Brett Harris conjured up the go-ahead touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in a 36-30 victory over Class 4A No. 6 Iowa City Liberty in Epworth.
The Bobcats trailed by five and faced fourth-and-6 from the 46 with 30 seconds left. Harris, in his first varsity start, scrambled to his right and flung a pass downfield. Wide receiver Daviyon Gaston broke free and made a diving catch in the end zone behind two Lightning defenders for the go-ahead score.
The play came near the end of the seesaw affair in the fourth that included three lead changes in the final 2:12.
Western Dubuque (1-2) earned its first win of the season, while Liberty dropped to 2-1 overall.