CEDAR RAPIDS — For two teams with similar starts to the prep football season, one stood much taller Thursday night at Kingston Stadium.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Cedar Rapids Prairie each impressed through a 2-0 start that landed both in the Class 4A top-10 rankings, only to be humbled in Week 3 by western Iowa football powers.
Now, the Hawks are the ones that appear primed for a big season.
No. 10 Prairie ran for 381 yards and held the Cougars without a first down in the first half of a 30-14 victory in the final non-district game of the season for both schools.
“Our kids were energetic and excited and got the opportunity to come back and prove what we did last week was a fluke,” Prairie Coach Mark Bliss said. “Our kids did a nice job tonight.”
Prairie (3-1) piled up over 300 total yards during a first half in which it surged to a 24-0 lead. Senior tailback Keegan Simmons got the scoring started when he took a direct snap from center and raced up the middle of the field for a 31-yard touchdown with 5:47 left in the first quarter.
“I just kept harping on my guys, ‘Keep pushing,’” Simmons said. “I just told them, ‘If you guys keep pushing, I’m going to do my thing.’ As well as Jace Andregg, we’re trying to run down their throat.”
After senior quarterback Izaak Lindgren capped a 12-play, 94-yard drive midway through the second quarter with a 21-yard TD pass to junior tight end Ashton Stoner-DeGroot on 3rd and 14, Andregg took an inside handoff and raced 53 yards for another score just under three minutes later for a 21-0 advantage.
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“I had Keegan Simmons going up the middle,” Andregg said. “He kicked out one of the backers. I just went off him, cut back and it was a straight shot to the end zone.”
Senior kicker Jayce Smith added a 27-yard field in the closing seconds of the first half.
Kennedy (2-2) found a bit of offensive footing in the second half behind second-string quarterback Max White, who threw a 29-yard TD pass to senior receiver Malik Adams late in the third quarter, the first points of the second half for either team.
A Michael Gallagher interception gave the Cougars the ball at the Prairie 18 on the final play of the third quarter with an opportunity to further cut into their 24-7 deficit, but the Hawks’ defense rose up again. Prairie senior linebacker Zach Swart tipped a White pass that fell into the arms of defensive back Armon Pledge, ending any legitimate threat Kennedy still had early in the fourth quarter.
“I knew my guy was going deep,” said Swart, who also had 4 ½ tackles for loss. “I just saw the ball in the air, I saw it was kind of wobbly. I knew I had a chance at it.”
Nine plays later, Simmons took another direct snap from center for a 10-yard TD and a 30-7 Prairie lead with 6:44 to go. Simmons finished the game with 232 rushing yards on 35 carries, while Andregg ran the ball 13 times for 155 yards.
Kennedy managed just 96 total yards.
“Our defensive coaching staff did a nice job of game planning and found some tendencies that gave us some leverage and helped us to have an advantage on the defensive side of the ball,” Bliss said.
Prairie opens district play with a home game against Dubuque Senior on Sep. 21, while Kennedy will entertain Davenport West at Kingston.
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
Class 4A No, 10 Cedar Rapids Prairie 30, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 14
C.R. Prairie 7 17 0 6—30
C.R. Kennedy 0 0 7 7—14
CRP — Keegan Simmons 31 run (Jayce Smith kick)
CRP — Ashton Stoner-DeGroot 21 pass from Izaak Lindgren (Jayce Smith kick)
CRP — Jace Andregg 53 run (Jayce Smith kick)
CRP — Jayce Smith FG 27
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CRK — Malik Adams 29 pass from Max White (Steven Svoboda kick)
CRP — Keegan Simmons 10 run (kick failed)
CRK — Cairron Hendred 2 run (Steven Svoboda kick)
RUSHING — C.R. Prairie: Keegan Simmons 35-232, Tyler Graham 1-(-2), Jace Andregg 13-155, Izaak Lindgren 3-3, Caden Richards 2-(-7); C.R. Kennedy: Cairron Hendred 7-(-3), Max White 8-17, Cade Parker 1-2, Sham Graham 1-1, Jay Oostendorp 1-4, Brandtley Koske 5-49, Charlie Haefner 1-(-6).
PASSING — C.R. Prairie: Izaak Lindgren 8-15-1-111, Keegan Simmons 1-2-1-20; C.R. Kennedy: Charlie Haefner 0-3-0-0, Max White 2-5-1-32.
RECEIVING — C.R. Prairie: Jace Andregg 3-19, Tyler Graham 2-20, Feysal Abdi 1-20, Ashton Stoner-DeGroot 1-21, Johnny Joens 2-50; C.R. Kennedy: Malik Adams 1-29, Brandtley Koske 1-3.
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