IOWA CITY — Iowa City High came to battle, but the big-play Iowa City West Trojans showed just how dangerous they can be.
West High took command of the 50th “Battle for the Boot” with an explosive final five minutes during the first half, turning a competitive game into a blowout. West (8-1, 5-0) wrapped up an unblemished district season and its second straight victory in the series with a 54-13 win Friday night at West High School.
The Little Hawks (2-7, 0-5) fought hard early. City High forced a punt and struck first. JayDaVonyae Hickman ripped off runs of 27 and 13 yards and quarterback Raphael Hamilton snuck it in from a yard out to seize a 7-0 lead.
The Trojans came right back. West High quarterback Marcus Morgan completed just four first-quarter passes. They went for 208 yards and three scores. The first was a jump ball to Jalen Gaudet. Gaudet won the battle for the ball and raced 79 yards down the right sideline and West High grabbed an 8-7 lead.
Jason Strunk added a rushing TD for the Trojans, going 80 yards untouched up the middle.
Right before half, West High erupted. Facing third-and-7, Morgan escaped pressure, stepped back from the line of scrimmage and hit a streaking Justin Thomas for 55 yards. Morgan capped the drive with a great individual effort from 5 yards out.
Noah Aanestad got an interception and returned it to the City 44. A 48-yard reverse to Gaudet was sprung by a block from Morgan. Peter Breitbach took it into the end zone on the next snap.
Following a failed fake punt, Morgan found Owen McAreavy for a 31-yard score.
Cole Mabry picked off Hamilton and Morgan hooked up with Aanestad for a 43-yard touchdown two plays later.
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The Trojans closed the half with a field goal following a fumble — a stunning 32 points in four minutes and change as West High entered the break with a commanding 47-7 lead.