CEDAR RAPIDS — Their primary running back is huge. Their offensive line is huger.
They have a complimentary back they can go to with extreme quickness. There’s an emerging talent at wide receiver.
The defense seems improved. They have 60 kids on the roster.
Perhaps that No. 6 ranking the Cedar Rapids Prairie Hawks have in Class 4A to begin this prep football season isn’t quite high enough.
“Yeah, I think we’re better than six,” said Prairie’s Jace Andregg, after his team’s season-opening 41-6 win Thursday night over Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium.
“Honestly, I think so,” agreed Prairie’s Keegan Simmons. “With the weapons we have, I think we’re going to do some damage this season. A lot of teams are going to be surprised. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Simmons is that huge primary back, by the way. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder bulled his way to 152 yards rushing on 23 attempts, including a pair of touchdowns.
Anderegg is the emerging receiver. The 6-foot-3 junior caught two TD passes and ran for another one.
Junior Tareek Cook is the quick guy. He didn’t score but he had 103 yards rushing on just eight attempts, all of them on the perimeter.
Prairie and its variety of formations out of the single wing crushed Washington on the ground with a 330-yard night.
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“With Tareek and me coming up, I think we have a lot of depth,” Andregg said. “There is a lot of skill back there, a lot of threats. No defense ever really knows what we’re going to do.”
“I think 90 percent of defensive coordinators would tell you that teams that aren’t afraid to get 3 or 4 (yards) at a time, that are patient, is the worst thing in the world,” said Washington Coach Maurice Blue. “Because you are dying by paper cuts. And they hit some big bombs, too. They’re good, man. They are good.”
Prairie scored 14 points each in the first and second quarters for a 28-0 halftime lead, outgaining Washington by a 242-55 margin. The Hawks were just that dominant.
“This is my fourth year here, and this was our best opener,” said Prairie Coach Mark Bliss. “We didn’t make as many mistakes as we have in the past in openers. The kids just did a really good job.”
Quarterback Izaak Lindgren threw one touchdown pass (to Jake DeGroot) and Simmons did as well for Prairie, concluding the scoring early in the fourth quarter and rolling the continuous clock. Ross Snitker caught a 41-yard TD pass from Brayden Wright for Wash’s only points.
Making his first start at QB, Wright completed 9 of 18 throws for 158 yards.
“We now have a good indicator of where we need to get to,” said Blue, whose team is missing some potential starters until Week 5. “We know where we’re not right now and where we need to get. There were some positives tonight for us.”
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