CEDAR FALLS — It was a fitting final touchdown.
Ashton Cook and Alec Wick stepped to the line of scrimmage. Eventually, the senior signal caller pointed downfield and launched a throw that only his most popular record-setting receiver could grab.
The play resulted in an 88-yard touchdown pass with a little more than eight minutes remaining to cement an already nearly rock solid lead in second-ranked Iowa City Regina’s 52-28 victory over No. 1 Grundy Center for the Class A state football championship Thursday afternoon at the UNI-Dome.
The play was the last connection of one of the most prolific passing tandems in Iowa high school football. Cook ended with a Class A-best 2,862 passing yards this season and 25 TDs. Wick accounted for 1,401 of those yards and 16 TDs. Both were tops in 11-player classes.
“It’s been amazing playing with him since elementary school,” Cook said of Wick. “We’ve just developed such good timing. I know where he’s going to run.
“That last play, we had a miscommunication. He was on the sideline, so I threw that ball out there. I knew he was going to be able to run under it. It just shows how we have that timing down. He’s a great player.”
Wick closed his career with a pair of records. He set a new Class A championship game record with 226 receiving yards, breaking the old mark of 163 set by Fredericksburg’s Jason Steege in 2001.
His game-high nine receptions also gave him 242 career catches, which is a new state record. He finished with 3,655 career receiving yards, which ranks third all-time.
Those feats were the furthest thing from his mind.
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“I don’t really care,” Wick said. “We just won state and that’s all I’m focused on.”
Cook and Wick have worked in sync the last four years. Multiple times, Cook scrambled, signaled to Wick in mid-route, who found space for Cook to deliver a ball only Wick could catch.
“Experience helps,” Wick said. “We both have experience, so we know. We both watched game film, so we think alike when it comes to scrambling and all that stuff.”
Wick made exceptional catches at times with Cook placing it perfectly, including a 27-yard gain where Wick drug his toes inside the sideline and stretched for the catch. It set up one of Kolie’s record-setting five TD runs.
They connected eight times in the first half and six were first-down conversions.
“All I know is I’ve got to put it out there for him,” Cook said. “He’ll make some crazy catches. He’s like a cat with instincts. He’s amazing.”
The last score on the last pass in the last game together was a perfect way to make a lasting memory.
“Alec and Ashton, putting the ball in the right spot and only one guy can get it,” Regina Coach Marv Cook said, “and that guy is Alec Wick. He’s able to make great plays for us. It was a great way to finish it off.”
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