116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City Regina just keeps winning.
The No. 3 Regals (9-0) continued their undefeated season and extended their active win streak to 20 games, defeating Cascade (4-5), 41-19, in a Class 1A first-round playoff matchup Friday night at home.
Regina holds the second longest active winning streak in Iowa, trailing just North Scott, which extended its streak to 21 Friday night.
“We’ve been there before, we were here in the middle of a 50-some win streak,” Regina Coach Jason Dumont said. “We really don’t talk about it. We tell the kids, ‘we’re zero-and-zero every week.’”
The “50-some” game win streak Dumont referred to was a stretch from 2010 to 2013 in which Regina won a state-record 56 straight games.
Friday’s win was Dumont’s first playoff victory as head coach, making it the first time Regina won a playoff game under a head coach not named Marv Cook since November 2005, when Chuck Evans led the Regals to a state championship game victory over Algona Garrigan, 19-8.
“It’s really a credit to the kids and how well they prepare, especially coming into this year losing a couple Division-I athletes that are now playing at the college level,” Dumont said. “For them to come in and do what they’ve done, and then have two weeks where we didn’t get to play games, is really a credit to them.”
The Regals came out hot as quarterback Jack Tierney took the first snap of the game and ran it 66 yards for a touchdown. Just 20 seconds in, Regina led 7-0.
On the ensuing possession, Cascade drove down the field and set up a first-and-goal from the Regals’ 6. Regina’s defense held tough and forced a turnover on downs. Regina forced four turnovers on downs in the game.
With 6:57 before halftime, Levi Daniel punched it in from 2 yards out. Daniel’s first score was set up by a crucial 25-yard completion from Tierney to Jackson Naeve on fourth-and-16.
“Tonight, again it was our linemen,” Tierney said. “Those dudes are awesome. They create great holes for us and create great pockets to give me time to throw the ball.”
The lone blemish of the first half for Regina came on the ensuing kickoff as Cascade’s Jack Menster returned it 90 yards for a score.
Menster entered the contest fifth in 1A with 18 rushing TDs. He also came in averaging 138 rushing yards and nearly three touchdowns per game.
The Regals held Menster to just 79 rushing yards on 15 carries and zero offensive touchdowns.
With 3:38 left in the second, Daniel added his second rushing TD, this one from 5 yards out. His second score capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive.
The Regals added one more touchdown before halftime as Tierney found Sam Aitchison open for a 21-yard TD. The score gave Regina a 27-6 lead at halftime.
Defense was primarily the story of the second half.
The Regals forced a turnover on downs on Cascade’s first possession of the third quarter.
After Tierney fumbled the ball back to Cascade, Regina’s defense again forced the Cougars into a turnover on downs.
Late in the third quarter, the defensive line put the heat on Cascade quarterback Justin Roling and hit him while he was throwing. The ball was snagged by defensive end Andrew Wiese, who ran it in for a 65-yard pick-6.
Cascade scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, both on passing plays from Roling to Isaac Nava.
“I’m just really proud of the kids,” Dumont said. “They beat a really good Cascade team tonight. That’s a really good four-seed.”
Regina’s Chris Waikel added a 1-yard TD late in the fourth.
“We’ll show up Sunday, watch film, and do it like we’ve done it for the last 15 years,” Dumont said. “We’ve got to clean some things up and make sure we stay healthy. Approach each week like we have every other this year.”