116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — Officially, it will go down as five first-half turnovers.
It may as well have been seven.
Officially, it will go down as 77 total yards.
Realistically, it was a lot less than that.
Officially or realistically, Linn-Mar’s defense was a nightmare for Cedar Rapids Washington.
“Our kids are buying in,” Lions Coach Tim Lovell said after the Lions routed the Warriors, 36-7, Friday night at Linn-Mar Stadium. “They’re playing hard, and they’re playing physical.
“We put a different defense in, asking guys to play assignment football. If we do that, we can see success.
“It helps that we have kids that love each other.”
Here’s something else for the Lions to love: 4-0.
“It’s been a long time,” quarterback McKade Jelinek said. “We’re ready to keep it rolling.”
Linn-Mar was 1-5 last season.
“This is the best football team I’ve ever been a part of,” said cornerback Cam Guenther, who collected two of the Lions’ four interceptions. “Coach Lovell is great with the connections he makes with the players. It’s how he approaches every single day.”
Linn-Mar feasted on a chain of Washington mistakes in the first half. Four interceptions, and a lost fumble, those were the five turnovers.
Plus, there was a muffed punt, and there was a bad exchange on a Washington punt that put the Lions deep in Warriors territory on the first drive of the game.
The first Washington special-teams miscue allowed the Lions to set up shop at the Washington 14. Three plays later, Carter Henderson tallied on a 2-yard run, and T.J. Jackson’s two-point run made it 8-0, only 88 seconds into the game.
Guenther’s first interception put the Lions in business again at the Warriors 41. A long pass from Jelinek to Jack Robertson put the Lions on the doorstep of the goal line, then Jelinek’s sneak — and another run by Jackson — extended the margin to 16-0.
“We watched a lot of film,” Guenther said. “We saw that (Washington QB Reid Ortiz) likes to bootleg, and we were watching the tight end.
“They had some weapons outside, but we were able to read the quarterback and make plays.”
Henderson’s 43-yard run, three plays after Reid Recker’s pick, put the Lions in firm control, 22-0, with 3:54 left in the half.
The Lions didn’t sustain any long, consistent drives. They didn’t need to.
Jelinek got loose for a 57-yard TD on a fake punt, then Henderson struck again on a 56-yard run.
Who called the fake punt?
“That was McKade,” Lovell said. “I had no idea what was going on.”
Jelinek said, “The time before, all of their guys released and took off, so I suggested to the coaches it might be there. We had fourth-and-5, and nobody was there, so the up guys said, ‘Let’s go.’”
Washington (2-2) was at minus-5 yards of total offense before embarking on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter. The Warriors finished with 77 yards — 112 passing, minus-35 rushing.
Henderson netted 145 rushing yards and three touchdowns for the Lions.
Linn-Mar is scheduled to play Cedar Rapids Jefferson next week, but the J-Hawks’ availability is in question. They were forced to forfeit their game Friday against Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
Washington is at Cedar Rapids Xavier next Friday.
Linn-Mar 36, Cedar Rapids Washington 7
AT LINN-MAR STADIUM
First downs: CRW 7, LM 9
Rushes-yards: CRW 17-(-35), LM 38-161
Passing yards: CRW 112, LM 78
Passing: CRW 11-28-4, LM 8-13-0
Total yards: CRW 77, LM 239
Fumbles-lost: CRW 3-1, LM 2-1
Punts-average: CRW 6-36.3, LM 5-41.0
Penalties-yards: CRW 6-55, LM 8-96
C.R. Washington 0 0 0 7 — 7
Linn-Mar 8 14 14 0 — 36
LM — Carter Henderson 2 run (T.J. Jackson run)
LM — McKade Jelinek 1 run (T.J. Jackson run)
LM — Henderson 43 run (kick blocked)
LM — Jelinek 57 run (Micah Baumhoehener kick)
LM — Henderson 56 run (Baumhoefener kick)
CRW — Reid Ortiz 1 run (Zach Novak kick)
Washington — Jaden Harris 1-3, Watts McBride 1-2, Brisahn Fields 2-(minus 5), Reid Ortiz 5-(minus 8), Donovan Jagnow 2-(minus 11), Miles Thompson 4-(minus 12). Linn-Mar — Carter Henderson 19-145, McKade Jelinek 9-9, Ben Blackford 5-6, Sage Holmes 2-3, Jack White 1-0.
Washington — Ortiz 9-24-4-113, Jagnow 2-4-0-(minus 1). Linn-Mar — Jelinek 8-12-0-78.
Washington — Harris 4-22, McBride 3-57, Michael Blank 3-34, Thompson 1-(minus 1). Linn-Mar — Jack Robertson 3-45, Andrew Knipper 1-12, Cam Guenther 1-9, Henderson 1-8, Tayden Ferguson 1-4, Gavin Johnston 1-0.