CEDAR RAPIDS — One might find a few Cedar Rapids Jefferson seniors that were alive the last time the J-Hawks beat Cedar Rapids Washington in football.
No matter. The next graduating class of J-Hawks now has a win of its own over the longtime crosstown rival.
“It means so much,” Jefferson senior quarterback Jacob Coyle said after the J-Hawks (2-2) defeated Washington for the first time since 2001, 24-7, in a non-district prep football game Friday night at Kingston Stadium. “We have had a tradition here. It has been 17, 18 years. This week was huge for us. We had old-timers coming in, telling stories of when we used to beat them up. (Saturday), we’re taking Coach (Chris) Buesing to the Cedar River. We are going to relive that dunk.”
In the week leading up to the game, Buesing scripted a pledge on the team whiteboard to jump in the Cedar River if his team could snap its 18-game losing streak to the Warriors. Buesing was a Jefferson senior in 1999, the first of three wins in a row for the J-Hawks over the Warriors.
“It is just good to have a rivalry again,” Buesing said. “Now it is fun, it is competitive and that is what the game is. We have had close games with them in the past, but finally our side got a little bit. It is more about these two teams, these kids. I am just proud for them, proud for the west side of town.”
The Jefferson defense had a pair of difference-making sequences in the second half. After the J-Hawks fumbled at the Washington 12-yard-line on the wrong end of a 7-3 deficit, it took the Jefferson defenders just two plays to get the ball back with a fumble recovery of their own. One play later, senior tailback Ezeki Leggins sprinted to the right pylon for an 11-yard touchdown and a 10-7 Jefferson lead.
“That is huge,” said Coyle, who ran for 151 yards. “They were off the field getting a break and before they know it, they are back out here. Get us the fumble within the first three plays. We get to put it in. That is huge for us. We didn’t slow down after that.”
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Washington (0-4) threatened to take the lead with a first-and-goal at the Jefferson 1-yard-line to begin the fourth quarter, but was pushed back and forced to settle for a field-goal attempt. Jefferson senior Gabe Coyle sprinted off the line and got a piece of the kick with his fingertips to preserve the lead.
“Just trying to give it everything I have got, every play,” Gabe Coyle said. “I saw a little opening. I thought I could go up and get it.”
Jacob Coyle finished off the Warriors with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives, the first ending with an athletic quarterback keeper for 54 yards that wound through the Washington secondary.
“That is triple option,” Jacob Coyle said. “I get to the next level, try to make a move on somebody. My brother was downfield blocking for me. I tried to do a little sauce or something. It was nice.”
Jacob Coyle finished the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Ashton Schulte on third-and-goal with 3:25 left in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Henry Clymer threw for 147 yards and a score for Washington, which is 0-4 for the first time in over a decade and hosts Class 4A No. 5 Bettendorf next Friday.
Jefferson opens district play next Friday at Waterloo West, one of just two games this season the J-Hawks will play away from Kingston Stadium.
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
Cedar Rapids Jefferson 24, Cedar Rapids Washington 7
Cedar Rapids Washington 0 7 0 0—7
Cedar Rapids Jefferson 0 3 7 14—24
CRW — Mason Ward 9 pass from Henry Clymer (Seth Moore kick)
CRJ — FG Jacob Cross kick 29
CRJ — Ezeki Leggins 11 run (Jacob Cross kick)
CRJ — Jacob Coyle 54 run (Jacob Cross kick)
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CRJ — Ashton Schulte 15 pass from Jacob Coyle (Jacob Cross kick)
RUSHING — C.R. Jefferson: Ezeki Leggins 12-47, Jacob Thompson 10-46, Jacob Coyle 16-151, Dkhai Pope 2-(-1), Josiah Szabo 2-16, Jamarre Robinson 1-4; C.R. Washington: LayC Tucker 7-27, Justin Scherrman 5-(-7), Henry Clymer 14-62, Jabari Dobbs 5-15.
PASSING — C.R. Jefferson: Jacob Coyle 5-13-0-98; C.R. Washington: Henry Clymer 23-33-0-147, Riley Pankey 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — C.R. Jefferson: Ashton Schulte 1-15, Gabe Coyle 2-40, Jacob Thompson 2-43; C.R. Washington: Zaren Ross-Carr 4-26, Trent Strom 3-25, Mason Ward 5-28, Maxwell Bjornsen 5-24, Justin Scherrman 2-4, LayC Tucker 3-44, Jabari Dobbs 2-(-11).