116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Xavier opened the game throwing the ball.
The result was one of just two punts in the entire game. Once the Saints got the ball back, they resorted to the run game. The production was much better.
Second-ranked Xavier scored on four straight possessions, defeating No. 8 Webster City, 24-13, in a Class 4A state football quarterfinal Friday night at Saints Field.
“They were a tough team,” Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said. “They have a different style that you don’t see all the time. It’s a little funky. It’s hard to prepare for and to play against. What they do, they do really well.
“I have to give our kids credit. They kept hanging in there and plugging away. They tried to be resilient — bend, don’t break — and that’s what they ended up doing.”
Xavier (10-1) will face No. 7 Winterset (9-2) in a semifinal at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The Saints will make their 10th semifinal appearance and eighth in the last 10 seasons.
“It’s a great feeling,” Senior offensive lineman Jake Dougherty said. “I just hope we can keep going.”
Xavier clocked with the rush attack, amassing 239 yards with two touchdowns from Christian Stanek.
“The line did good,” said Stanek, who made sure to praise the scout team’s effort in practice. “Good blocking. The quarterback made good reads. A team effort on those scores.”
Stanek scored on a 57-yard jaunt midway through the first quarter. He stepped through a couple tackles, reaching to a wide-open second level.
“Just get to the end zone,” Stanek said. “Just smell the end zone and angle a little bit because there are probably some DBs who are faster than I am.”
Stanek also added a 19-yard TD run with 11:14 to go, putting the Saints up two scores late.
“The team’s energy just sky-rocketed,” Stanek said. “Nail in the coffin. We finished them after that.”
Will Hiserote tallied a game-high 139 rushing yards and added 40 receiving yards. The Saints offensive line won the battle at the line of scrimmage, helping Hiserote and Stanek to big gains.
“I’d say it was just about getting off the ball,” Dougherty said. “The (offensive) line was moving.”
The Saints also managed a key scoring drive in the second quarter. They covered 81 yards on nine plays. Quarterback Alex Neal added a 7-yard TD pass to Spencer Mesch with 11 seconds left for a 17-7 halftime lead.
“They were heads up on that,” Schulte said. “They were aware of the situation, got lined up and ran a good play.”
Trysten Vasquez provided a 23-yard field goal, in addition to two first-down receptions. He led the Saints with 49 yards passing.
Xavier had a little more balance with 108 pass yards. Its defense limited a vaunted spinner-back rush attack to 197 yards and just 13 passing yards.
Jaxon Cherry scored on TD runs of 9 and 4 for Webster City (8-3). He finished with a team-high 93 rushing yards.
AT SAINTS FIELD
First Downs 16 13
Rushes-Yds 50-197 32-239
Pass Yds 13 108
Comp-Att-Int 3-5-0 7-9-0
Total Yds 210 347
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-0
Punts-Avg. 3-33.7 2-19-5
Penalties-Yds 3-15 3-24
Webster City 7 0 6 0—13
C.R. Xavier 7 10 0 7—24
RUSHING – Webster City: Jaxon Cherry 18-93, C.J. Hisler 15-78, Ty McKinney 14-56, Team 3-(-30). C.R. Xavier: Will Hiserote 17-139, Christian Stanek 4-85, Alex Neal 9-20, Team 2-(-5).
PASSING – Webster City: McKinney 3-5-0-13. C.R. Xavier: Neal 7-9-0-108.
RECEIVING – Webster City: Connor Hansen 1-13, Devon Stoakes 1-5, Hisler 1-(-5). C.R. Xavier: Trysten Vasquez 2-49, Hiserote 3-40, Aidan McDermott 1-12, Spencer Mesch 1-7.
CRX – Stanek 57 run (Vasquez kick)
WC – Cherry 9 run (Levi Mussman kick)
CRX – FG Vasquez 23
CRX – Mesch 7 pass from Neal (Vasquez kick)
WC – Cherry 4 run (kick failed)
CRX – Stanek 19 run (Vasquez kick)