116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Lions keep rolling. For the first time since 2011, Linn-Mar is 5-0.
The Class 5A ninth-ranked Lions jumped all over a depleted Cedar Rapids Jefferson team, running away with a 65-0 victory Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
The fast start is a welcome departure from the 1-5 season Linn-Mar endured last year. A strong defense has led the way. Jefferson couldn’t budge the Linn-Mar defensive front. The J-Hawks finished with negative-21 yards of offense and no first downs.
Linn-Mar assistant coach Nathan Frangella, who was filling in for head coach Tim Lovell, liked what he saw. Lovell’s son, Max, was playing his Senior Night game for Marion.
“I think our kids showed some good class, good sportsmanship,” Frangella said. “It was fun to see them take care of each other. You can see there was a family atmosphere going on with all of our kids. They were so proud for everyone who got in and they were so proud of all the kids who were able to have success tonight.”
There was some question whether the J-Hawks would take the field for their homecoming game after forfeiting last week’s game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy due to COVID and injury concerns. Calling up members from the sophomore team, Jefferson had numbers on its sideline, but was no match for Linn-Mar on the field.
The Lions took 23 seconds to reach the end zone. On the second snap, Linn-Mar leading rusher Carter Henderson tore a path 44 yards down the left sideline. It would be his only carry on the night.
One minute and 16 seconds later, the Lions scored again. Cam Guenther picked off an Andreas Williams pass and returned it 32 yards for a 15-0 lead with 10:21 remaining in the first quarter.
As the Lions kept forcing three-and-outs, Linn-Mar quarterback McKade Jelinek scored on a pair of keepers.
The J-Hawks showed some fire late in the opening quarter. Jefferson got to Jelinek for a pair of 12-yard sacks in a span of three plays, but the momentum was fleeting.
Guenther used a 22-yard catch-and-run to complete the first quarter scoring as the Lions led 37-0.
Before making way for the second team, Jack Robertson got loose in the secondary and hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Jelinek.
The Lions added another pick-6 from Tayden Ferguson and entered halftime with a 58-0 cushion.
Linn-Mar’s stiffest test of the season comes Friday as it travels to third-ranked Southeast Polk.
“Southeast Polk is good, they’re good,” Frangella said. “We’ve looked at a little bit of tape on them. It’ll be a long meeting on Sunday. We do our meetings on Sundays and that’s how I feel right now. It’s gonna be a long day on Sunday.”