CEDAR RAPIDS — Is this the year?
It has been a long time since the Metro won a state football championship in the state’s biggest class. Well over a decade.
Cedar Rapids Xavier is the answer to that last-time trivia question, winning it all in Class 4A in 2006. The Saints are now a 3A school.
Prior to that, it was 1990 and Linn-Mar. Only one of the three public schools in Cedar Rapids has ever won a big-school title: Jefferson in 1972.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Washington and Xavier had runner-up finishes in 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Kennedy (10-1) gets West Des Moines Dowling (10-1) in a 4A semifinal Friday night at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
That’s six-time defending 4A champion Dowling.
“We’re one of their six state championships,” Kennedy Coach Brian White said. “The coaching staff has a little something to prove. The kids don’t care. They were in eighth grade when that happened, but the coaching staff would like the opportunity.”
Dowling’s dominance has played a huge part in Central Iowa owning 4A football. Specifically, that’s suburban Des Moines owning 4A football, considering Dowling, West Des Moines Valley and Ankeny have combined for the last 11 titles.
Iowa City High was the last Eastern Iowa champ, in 2009. Bettendorf and Valley is the other 4A semifinal Friday.
“I’m excited to play Dowling, knowing they’re a great dynasty,” said Kennedy’s Jay Oostendorp. “It’s going to be a great memory. This whole season has been amazing. I can’t wait for it.”
It's Williamsburg time
Those who pay close attention to it yearly weren’t overly concerned about Williamsburg when it lost three games in a row to fall to a 1-3 record. For one, those defeats were to high-quality teams in Western Dubuque, West Branch and Iowa City Regina, all of which played postseason quarterfinals Friday night.
For two, the Raiders always get better as the season progresses and are an absolute handful if/when they make the playoffs. More evidence of that here, as Williamsburg beat second-ranked Clear Lake, 35-21, in a 2A semifinal Friday night.
Kaden Wetjen had a pair of touchdown runs in the first quarter to help Williamsburg (8-3) build a 14-0 lead. His punt-return TD in the third essentially put the game on ice (pun intended, considering the frigid weather), 28-7.
Williamsburg now gets top-ranked Waukon (11-0) in a Saturday semifinal at the UNI-Dome. The teams met in the 2017 2A championship game, with Waukon winning, 29-0.
In case you were wondering how the state’s RPI rankings worked out this season, here you go.
In Class 4A, your semifinalists are West Des Moines Valley (1), West Des Moines Dowling (3), Cedar Rapids Kennedy (5) and Bettendorf (7). In 3A, it’s your top four: Solon (1), Western Dubuque (2), Lewis Central (3) and Sergeant Bluff-Luton (4).
Williamsburg (11) is the lowest-ranked RPI team in the semifinals. The rest of the 2A field is Waukon (1), Algona (3) and Ida Grove OABCIG (4).
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The 1A semifinalists are Van Meter (1), West Sioux (3), West Lyon (5) and Iowa City Regina (11). The A semifinalists are West Hancock (1), Saint Ansgar (3), Grundy Center (5) and Woodbury Central (6).
Eight-Player also went RPI chalk with Audubon (1), Turkey Valley (2), Don Bosco (3) and Remsen St. Mary’s (4).
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