116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WILLIAMSBURG — It wasn’t pretty.
The start was even downright ugly. An ugly win is still a win, after all. Williamsburg will take it.
The Class 2A third-ranked Raiders overcame four first-half turnovers and quarterback Carson Huedepohl contributed to five touchdowns to defeat 3A No. 6 Solon, 38-25, in a non-district prep football game Friday night at Bob Murphy Stadium.
“All kinds of stuff we can talk about and still know you won by two scores, it just shows what this team is capable of,” Williamsburg Coach Curt Ritchie said. “We’ll keep getting better and it’s fun to work on those things after a win. Our guys will stay hungry and get better.”
Solon had multiple chances to take a commanding lead early. Williamsburg muffed a punt that gave the Spartans prime field position at the Raiders 30, but turned it over on downs.
Then, the Raiders threw an interception in their own territory. Solon only managed a Grant Knipper 35-yard field goal with 6:48 to go in the first quarter after starting on its own 22.
Knipper put the Spartans up 6-0 with a 31-yard field goal on the next drive.
Williamsburg didn’t even manage a first down until the start of the second quarter when the Raiders manufactured an eight-play, 35-yard drive that ended in a Huedepohl 5-yard run to tie the game at 6-6.
Solon (1-2) pounced on a second fumble at its 42, looking to take advantage of another good start. The Raiders defense came through again. This time it was a 48-yard interception return by Clayten Steckly for a TD and 12-6 lead midway through the second quarter. The Raiders never trailed again.
“A couple plays before I got yelled at actually,” Steckly said. “I didn’t get to where I was supposed to be. I just got to the right place at the right time. I guess he didn’t see me. I just took off and scored.”
Brett White evened the score again with the first of two explosive, long scoring runs. The 6-foot, 210-pound running back bounced off and ran through arm tackles at the line of scrimmage, rumbling for a 50-yard TD to tie the game again.
White also had a similar run for an 84-yard score in the fourth. He finished with a game-high 148 rushing yards.
The Raiders bracketed halftime with scoring drives that put them in control. The first was a 69-yard drive on eight plays, resulting in a 10-yard TD pass from Huedepohl to Derek Weisskopf with 28 seconds remaining for an 18-12 halftime lead.
On the first possession of the third, Williamsburg marched 86 yards on 10 plays, converting a fake punt and capitalizing on two Solon penalties. A pass interference on third-and-10 from the Solon 27 preceded Huedepohl’s 13-yard catch and run to Steckly for a 24-12 advantage.
“We picked it up and we got some run game going,” Huedepohl said. “Seeing the reads play out as the game goes on is a little easier. You know when you’ve got to get going to get on a roll.”
Huedepohl followed with an 8-yard TD pass to Weisskopf before adding a 15-yard TD run. Huedepohl had 188 total yards, including 147 passing. Weisskopf accounted for 92 yards and six receptions.
Not bad for Huedepohl, who missed last season due to injury and has moved from running back to quarterback for the first time since junior high.
“It’s great and I love the sport,” Huedepohl said. “I love getting on the field. Last year, it was really tough just watching the game.
“I try to be the best I can be for this team. Shoutout to my lineman. We have hard working guys.”
Williamsburg improved to 3-0 and still hasn’t played a complete game, despite wins over Solon, Iowa City Regina and Van Meter. The Raiders will get back to work, looking to clean up mistakes.
“There’s definitely more to come,” Huedepohl said. “Better Raider football to come.”