CEDAR RAPIDS — A near-perfect first half was behind. Maurice Blue’s message was clear.
“The halftime score didn’t matter,” said Blue, football coach at Cedar Rapids Washington. “We knew (Cedar Rapids Kennedy was) going to come back. They did it last week. We knew they could do it again.”
They did, but not all the way back.
Washington’s first-half brilliance was enough to hold off Class 4A sixth-ranked Kennedy, 28-21, in a Mississippi Valley Conference cross-divisional football game Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
“That’s probably the biggest win I’ve probably had in my life,” said Washington quarterback Henry Clymer, who passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another.
The victory was the fifth straight for Washington, which improved to 2-0 this season.
“This group is starting to believe in itself,” Blue said. “A lot of teams might have folded when they started coming back, but not this group.”
The Warriors outgained the Cougars by a 124-8 margin in the opening quarter, 262-61 before intermission on their way to a 21-0 halftime lead.
Washington threw down the gauntlet in the opening drive, a nine-play, 69-yard scoring march, and kept it there.
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Clymer was 5-for-5 in the opening drive, hitting four different receivers. The fourth was Justin Scherrman, who caught a 4-yard scoring strike to put the Warriors in front. For good, as it turned out.
Washington broke it open with two touchdowns in the final 3:10 of the second quarter.
A 53-yard bomb from Clymer to DayMarcus Hare put the Warriors in scoring position, then Jabari Dobbs scored on a 5-yard run on the following play.
After Kennedy (1-1) went three and out, Washington struck again, traversing 56 yards in just over a minute. Clymer connected again for Scherrman from 4 yards out, and the Warriors took a stunning 21-0 lead into the locker room.
The Cougars opened the second-half scoring on Max White’s 1-yard run to get within 21-7, but Washington answered on Clymer’s 8-yard QB draw.
“He wanted the ball in his hands,” Blue said.
“Yeah, I called that one,” Clymer said. “I had a feeling it might work.”
Kennedy scored a pair of late touchdowns to get within 28-21, but the Warriors recovered an onside kick after a lengthy scrum, then ran out the clock.
White finished with 194 rushing yards for Kennedy.
Both teams are scheduled to be back at Kingston next week — Washington against Iowa City High on Thursday; Kennedy against Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Friday.
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