116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Glass-half-empty guy might point out how close Clear Creek Amana’s football team is to having a poor record.
Glass-half-full guy will point out the Clippers don’t have a poor record, but a really good one. Bottom-line guy agrees with him.
Gage Freeman’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:47 left provided the winning points as CCA beat Cedar Rapids Washington, 20-19, Thursday night at Kingston Stadium.
That’s three, count ‘em three, one-point victories this season for Class 4A’s ninth-ranked team. Clear Creek Amana is 5-1 overall and now 2-0 in what appears to be a really strong District 4.
Just win, baby. Just win.
“Fight, fight, fight. That’s basically all it is,” said CCA quarterback Ben Swails. “We don’t hang our heads, we don’t take anything for granted. We just continue to do our thing.”
“We just always like to keep the crowd excited,” quipped Clear Creek Amana receiver-defensive back Harrison Rosenberg. “We just stick to it, and we don’t give up. We never give up. That just shows how well we work together as a team and how strong we are character wise.”
That character thing, yeah, no doubt the Clippers have a lot of that.
Washington (2-4, 0-2) seized all momentum late in the third quarter by sacking Swails in the end zone for a safety, getting a good return on the ensuing kickoff and driving for a Watts McBride 8-yard touchdown and a 16-14 lead. CCA then went three-and-out offensively and punted from deep in its own territory, giving the Warriors the football at the CCA 44.
Wash drove to the Clippers 8 but had to settle for a Zach Novak 27-yard field goal that made it a 19-14 game with 8:17 left. Leaving that window slightly cracked turned out to be huge.
“Held them to a field goal that drive,” said Swails, who completed 9 of 19 throws for 247 yards and two touchdowns, both to Rosenberg. “Three points is better than seven points, I think any coach would agree with that. That was huge. Defense really stepped up.”
Then the CCA offense did. A 35-yard pass from Swails to Freeman was followed by a pass interference penalty on Washington, taking the ball to the Warriors 17. Eventually, Freeman bolted over the goal line for his winning score.
Rosenberg intercepted a Reid Ortiz pass on the following possession, CCA ran some clock, punted and forced Washington to start from its 9 with 1:41 left and no timeouts. The Warriors could only get to the 24 before turning the football over on downs.
Yet another close-as-you-could-get victory for Clear Creek Amana, which began this season with a 36-35 win over Marion and beat Iowa City Liberty two weeks ago, 31-30.
“We always talk about we want to handle adversity three ways,” said first-year CCA Coach Matt Haddy. “We want to handle it by playing physical football, we want to handle it by being disciplined, we want to handle it together. I would say we definitely did those three things, and that allowed to meet that adversity and (win).”
CCA began the scoring in the first quarter when Rosenberg took a short slant pass over the middle from Swails and broke it 90 yards for a touchdown. Washington tied it in the second on a hook-and-lateral play, with Ortiz connecting with Donovan Jagnow for about 9 yards on the hook pattern, with McBride taking the immediate pitch from him 75 yards to the house.
Rosenberg’s 16-yard TD catch on CCA’s first possession of the second half made it a 14-7 game.
The teams were separated by one point and 1 yard, ironically. Clear Creek Amana finished with 304 yards to Washington’s 303.
McBride had 86 yards rushing (on just six carries) and added 80 yards in receptions. This was the fourth consecutive loss for Washington, and, without question, its toughest.
“Disappointed in the outcome, but they played their tails off. I was proud of them,” said Coach Mo Blue. “We just made too many mistakes at what ended up being critical times. We’re not talking about huge mistakes. It was things like (being) 1 foot out of position … I can’t ask for more effort than what they gave tonight.”
Clear Creek Amana 20, C.R. Washington 19
First Downs: CCA 14, CRW 10. Rushes-Yards: CCA 37-57, CRW 34-179. Passing Yards: CCA 247, CRW 124. Completions-Attempts-Interceptions: CCA 9-19-0, CRW 9-20-2. Penalties-Yards: CCA 3-15, CRW 5-46. Punts-Average: CCA 6-38.3, CRW 5-30.0. Fumbles-Lost: CCA 1-0, CRW 1-0.
Scoring By Quarters
Clear Creek Amana 7 0 7 6-20
C.R. Washington 0 7 9 3-19
CCA-Harrison Rosenberg 90 pass from Ben Swails (Grant Kruse kick)
CRW-Watts McBride 75 pass from Reid Ortiz (Zach Novak kick)
CCA-Rosenberg 16 pass from Swails (Kruse kick)
CRW-Safety, Swails tackled in end zone
CRW-McBride 8 run (Novak kick)
CRW-Novak 27 FG
CCA-Gage Freeman 3 run (run failed)
Rushing - CCA: Gage Freeman 17-47, Xavier Williams 9-17, Ben Swails 8-1, Jackson Schmidt 1-1, Team 2-(minus) 9. CRW: Watts McBride 6-86, Miles Thompson 12-62, Reid Ortiz 10-22, Michael Blank 4-9, Jaden Harris 1-2, Team 1-(minus) 2.
Passing - CCA: Ben Swails 9-19-0-247. CRW: Reid Ortiz 9-18-1-124, Michael Blank 0-1-1-0.
Receiving - CCA: Harrison Rosenberg 5-159, Gage Freeman 3-72, Xavier Williams 1-16. CRW: Watts McBride 2-80, Michael Blank 3-15, Jaden Harris 2-13, Donovan Jagnow 1-9, Brisahn Fields 1-7.
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