Prep Football

A stunning second-half performance lifts Cedar Rapids Washington to its first win of the season

Warriors outscore Davenport Central, 36-0, in final two quarters for 43-20 victory

CEDAR RAPIDS — Maurice Blue just kept looking at the Kingston Stadium scoreboard. It was as if the Cedar Rapids Washington head football coach couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

It wasn’t so much that his Warriors had just beaten Davenport Central, 43-20. It was how they did it.

“Outscored them 36-0 in the second half?” Blue said, increduously.

Yep, Mo. That was the margin.

The winning margin.

“We worked hard for this,” said Washington running back Dewayne Hunt. “Our last game at Kingston. Man, I love my team.”

It’s an understatement to say this has been a difficult season for Washington (1-6, 1-2 Class 4A, District 5). The Warriors had a lead only one time in their previous six games, that being, 7-0, in Week 4 against Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

The J-Hawks ended up winning, 24-7. Wash got up here again, 7-0, but Central (3-4, 2-1) recovered for a 20-7 halftime lead, with Washington’s overall sloppy play not portending a comeback, especially one of this magnitude.

But the Warriors scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and added three more and a safety in the fourth. Sophomore Jabari Dobbs threw a pair of halfback passes for TDs: one of 27 yards in the third to Carter Bell and another of 20 yards in the fourth to Zaren Ross-Carr.

“We had it in the playbook but hadn’t practiced it until this week,” said Dobbs, a lefty. “The first one, I was pretty confident it was going go work. The second one, I didn’t think it was going to work because we’d already run it once. But I looked up, and (Ross-Carr) was wide open.”

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Hunt finished with 125 yards rushing and a touchdown for Washington, with Dobbs adding 88 yards rushing and a score. Bell also caught a TD pass from quarterback Henry Clymer.

Washington outgained Central in the second half by a stunning margin of 323-34. It was if a proverbial switch was flipped.

“I was sick of losing, everybody was sick of losing,” Blue said. “That was it. The kids decided they were going to get it done. It was ugly at times, but it was fun. This was the team we’ve been waiting for all year. The team we’ve seen in practice, warts and all. That’s what we are capable of.”

Running back Sam Strang had 140 yards rushing and two first-half touchdowns for Central, including one of 61 yards. The Blue Devils’ other TD came when linebacker John Miller scooped up a Hunt fumble and returned it 17 yards to the end zone.

Central ran almost at will in the first half, piling up 208 yards on the ground, but finished with just 31 in the second half.

“It’s a relief,” Dobbs said. “We just kind of told ourselves these last three games, we weren’t going to lose. We left it all on the field. We played as brothers.”

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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