Prep Football

Cedar Rapids Prairie's first-quarter explosion leads to Kolache Bowl win over Jefferson

Hawks score 33 unanswered in 46-19 romp

CEDAR RAPIDS — That’s one way not to have to worry about a tight game. The perfect way.

Cedar Rapids Prairie scored 33 unanswered points in the first quarter Friday night and squashed Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 46-19, in the latest edition of the Kolache Bowl.

How good this had to feel for the Hawks (5-2, 3-0 Class 4A District 3), who had to sweat out down-to-the-wire wins the previous two weeks against against Dubuque Senior and Dubuque Hempstead. Those came by three points and one point, respectively.

There wasn’t any sweating this time, and not just because of the very chilly and windy weather at John Wall Field.

“We wanted the trophy. The trophy was on the line,” said Prairie back Nick Pearson, who rushed for 223 yards and four touchdowns. “These two schools are very close, eight minutes away. We just wanted it really bad tonight. We wanted to claim (the west side of) Cedar Rapids.”

Prairie players jubilantly hoisted the new “West Side Best Side” trophy that Pearson referenced. It will annually go to the winner of this game.

“That first quarter, we kind of came out like a bullet out of a gun,” Pearson said. “Right where we wanted to be. It was a complete trample on them, offense and defense. The only problem we had in the game was kind of a letdown.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Pearson had three touchdown runs in that telltale first quarter, and Tariq Amir two. Prairie had 206 yards to Jefferson’s 12, recovering two J-Hawks fumbles and blocking a punt, all of which led to points.

“We just challenged the kids to execute,” said Prairie Coach Mark Bliss. “They did a really, really good job. They came out and did what they had to do.”

Jefferson (3-4, 1-2) was able to regroup after those disastrous first 12 minutes and outplayed Prairie a lot of the rest of the way. But the J-Hawks could not convert some drives deep inside Hawks territory, and the continuous clock rolled when Pearson busted loose for an 81-yard TD run early in the fourth.

Quarterback Jacob Coyle threw a pair of touchdown passes for Jefferson, one to Kenneth Moore and the other to Kastan Kolsto. Gabriel Coyle, Jacob’s twin brother, had the J-Hawks’ other TD on a late fourth-quarter fumble return.

Adam Longwell had Prairie’s seventh touchdown: a 21-yard run. Prairie remains in control of its playoff destiny, though it has tough road games remaining at Waterloo West and Cedar Falls.

“Like I told them at the end of our (postgame) conversation, ‘Guys, we look really, really good at times, but there are some times when it looks like we’re coasting,’” Bliss said. “If you coast, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing or what kind of team you’re playing, they are going to take advantage of you. Jefferson did that a couple of times. Just a lack of focus. Don’t know what to attribute that to, but it’s just reality.”

The first quarter was simply one long nightmare for Jefferson and one long dream for Prairie. The Hawks fielded an onside kick attempt to start the game at their 49 and needed just six plays to score: a Pearson 1-yard run.

Prairie’s Lane Swartzendruber then blocked a J-Hawks punt, with the Hawks taking over at the Jefferson 22. Just two plays later, Amir took an inside counter 4 yards for another TD. Both extra points missed, making it 12-0.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Linebacker Jake DeGroot recovered a fumble for Prairie on Jeff’s next possession. Three plays ensued, with Pearson scoring from 9 yards out.

Amir got his second TD of the quarter on Prairie’s next possession, this one from 42 yards. DeGroot then recovered another Jefferson fumble, leading to Pearson’s third touchdown, this one a 30-yarder.

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.