116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON - The biggest guy made the biggest play at the biggest time.
A block, a scoop and a score.
Tristan Wirfs blocked a punt and ran it 20 yards for the clinching touchdown as third-ranked Mount Vernon held off Williamsburg, 42-32, in a Class 2A football quarterfinal Friday night at Ash Park.
'Every time, it seems, he's this close,” teammate Sam Moore said. 'This time, it was perfect. He came through and got the whole thing.”
Last year's 2A state runner-up, Mount Vernon (9-2) returns to the UNI-Dome next Saturday for a semifinal encounter with No. 4 Union (10-1), a 28-12 upset winner over No. 1 North Fayette Valley.
The Mustangs have won nine consecutive games.
Two weeks ago, they racked up more than 700 yards of total offense and blasted Williamsburg, 56-21. This time, the Raiders (8-3) were right in it until Wirfs' game-breaking play.
Williamsburg cut a 35-20 deficit to a three-point game on touchdowns by Justin Donohoe (2-yard pass from Gage Blythe) and Jason Wardenburg (1-yard run), and got the ball back at its own 29-yard line with 5:44 left after forcing a Mount Vernon punt.
But three plays netted just two yards, forcing the Raiders to punt.
And Wirfs - the 6-foot-5, 315-pound University of Iowa recruit - smothered it.
'I had to come through and make something big happen,” he said. 'I got both hands up, then I saw the ball on the ground in front of me.”
After throwing the ball all over the place in the previous meeting with Williamsburg, the Mustangs were run-oriented Friday, piling up 304 yards on the ground.
'They played off the line more. They weren't going to give up the big play,” Mount Vernon Coach Lance Pedersen said. '(Raiders Coach) Curt Ritchie does an outstanding job, and we knew he would have them ready.”
Pedersen adjusted to the Raiders' adjustment, calling for a left-zone play to Moore on the first play from scrimmage. It went 63 yards for a touchdown.
'He told me (Thursday) what our first play would be,” Moore said. 'That's all I was thinking about all day. Give a lot of credit to the guys up front.
'Williamsburg was a tough football team. We knew we couldn't just show up.”
Moore ran for 216 yards on 21 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Jack Cochrane added three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing). And Wirfs made the big play at the end.
Wardenburg and Gage Hazen-Fabor scored a pair of touchdowns apiece for Williamsburg. Wardenburg carried 36 times for 173 yards.
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