CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Prairie’s high-powered offense looked good at times and sputtered as well.
But the No. 6 Hawks had just enough to hold off a pesky Pleasant Valley team, 49-42, Friday night at John Wall Field.
Senior Keegan Simmons lugged the ball 29 times for 267 yards and four scores for the Hawks, who needed every one of those points to hold off the Spartans.
Coach Mark Bliss’ team (2-0) was plagued by penalties (11 for 103 yards) and two mishandled snaps in the quick-action offense that put them back in a hole several times.
It looked like the Hawks were going to run away and hide early. Tareek Amir, who carried 11 times for 138 yards, raced 68 yards to score on the second play of the game. After PV mishandled a punt snap, Simmons went in from 16 yards away and the Hawks led 14-0 before the game was three minutes old.
Those two scores proved to be the difference as the two teams traded TDs the rest of the way.
Pleasant Valley responded with a 68-yard TD run from quarterback Max Slavens. He rushed for 124 yards on 13 carries and completed 10-of-19 passes for 150 yards and a pair of scores.
Simmons’ biggest score of the game came on the final play of the first half. The Hawks drove down the field in the final minute of the half. With just one second remaining on the clock, he rumbled in from the 2, giving the Hawks a 35-21 lead at intermission.
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Ben Royer’s 53-yard run early in the third quarter cut the gap to seven again for PV. The Spartans finally got the ball early in the fourth quarter after stopping Prairie and were poised to tie the game. They drove inside the Prairie 20 before Slavens fumbled an attempted handoff, giving the ball back to Prairie.
The Hawks got a 7-yard TD run from Izaak Lindgren with 3:04 left to go up 14 again. Slavens responded with a 31-yard TD pass to Jose Lara with 1:57 left. An onside-kick attempt failed and Prairie was able to run out the clock.
Prairie returns home next Friday to host Waukee.