CEDAR RAPIDS — Judging by the score alone, it appears Class 3A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier’s 48-0 win over Davenport Assumption was just another Saints rout.
When you look beneath the score, the win looks much more methodical. A blocked punt, an interception, and a fumble recovery all led to points. The offense churned through some early drops, but took advantage of the turnovers to move to 3-0.
“In the first quarter, we weren’t firing on all cylinders,” said head coach Duane Schulte. “We just stuck with it and tried to execute. Thankfully, we were able to do that later on.”
While most high school teams can’t point to much of a kicking game, the Saints have a kicker with a big leg in Ben Conrad. In a span of five minutes, the 5-foot-9 senior drilled kicks of 38 and 47 yards to put Xavier ahead 13-0. The 47-yarder was 1 yard shy of the school record.
“I’m confident that I am able to hit that kick,” said Conrad. “But the credit goes to my long snapper, holder, and offensive line. Without them, I can’t make those kicks.”
Lineman Jon Bell was responsible for the blocked punt and fumble recovery. Bell jumped on the punt at the Knights 2-yard line. He was rewarded with a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-0.
“That was my first touchdown,” said Bell. “I just wanted to get in and then treat it like it’s my job.”
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Running back Braden Stovie took off on a 50-yard touchdown run on a 4th-and-2 to give the Saints a 27-0 lead. A pair of Quinn Schulte QB sneaks kept the Saints train rolling and Xavier went into the locker room up 41-0.
“Guys were just told they needed to focus,” said Schulte. “After a couple of words on the sideline, they did.”