IOWA CITY — It was the best of both worlds for Iowa City West Coach Garrett Hartwig.
His Trojans, ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, broke open a close game in the second half and went on to a convincing 28-7 win over Class 3A No. 4 North Scott Friday night at Trojan Field.
“This is a coach’s dream in a lot of ways,” Hartwig said. “We got the win but we still get to hammer the boys a little bit in practice this week.”
The bright spots for West were the defense and the play of receiver Jalen Gaudet. The Trojans defense held the Lancers to 67 rushing yards, many of those coming late after the verdict had been decided.
“We knew who we had coming back on our defense,” Hartwig said. “We coach these kids hard and they respond.”
Gaudet was one of the few returning starters from last year’s Class 4A state runner-up. He caught three passes for 159 yards, including scoring plays of 80 and 75 yards. He also added an 11-yard run on a jet sweep in the fourth quarter.
“Man, he made some plays tonight,” said West quarterback Joey Kuehn, who was the passer on the first score. “It looked like he was getting held a little bit, but I just put it out there and he made a great play.”
The second TD pass came on a broken play where Noah Aanestad was almost sacked before finding Gaudet breaking over the middle.
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He turned on the speed and took it into the end zone just two plays after North Scott had tied the game early in the third quarter.
“That looked like it was going to be a sack,” Kuehn said. “Then Jalen has it and I am running with him down the sideline.”
Hartwig employed several different combinations in the game. Eleven different players carried the ball and two quarterbacks saw time.
“We have a third quarterback and we weren’t able to get him in,” said Hartwig, whose team plays next week against No. 4 Bettendorf. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight.
“We’ll have to play better next week if we want to win.”