CEDAR RAPIDS — Not often does the most impactful moment of a football game take place before the opening kickoff. But at Kingston Stadium Friday evening, that’s exactly what happened.
During pregame warmups, team captains from both Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Southeast Polk met at midfield. There, Southeast Polk presented a $5,050 check to Jefferson to aid in derecho relief. The Class 4A second-ranked Rams won the game, 69-13.
“It’s funny, actually it was my father-in-law, he’s a longtime community member and he had an idea,” Southeast Polk Coach Brad Zelenovich said. “He’s been a longtime booster and he brought it to our attention. He talked about all the obstacles that everyone’s facing in this area of the state and the (Cedar Rapids) community, it got hit hard.”
Zelenovich added that the effort came together pretty quickly.
“We didn’t know we were playing until Tuesday, because we were planning on a playing (Des Moines East),” Zelenovich said. “It was just our football community, football parents and booster club that started this campaign to raise funds. We wanted to help the Cedar Rapids community, particularly Cedar Rapids Jefferson. It’s just a token that we’re thinking about them and hope that it can help them in their recovery efforts.”
Jefferson (0-3) was scheduled to play Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
When Des Moines East (online classes) and Cedar Rapids Kennedy (COVID-19 quarantine) were forced to cancel, the Rams and J-Hawks agreed to play.
On the field, Southeast Polk wasn’t as kind.
In the first half alone, the Rams rushed for 288 yards and five TDs.
Defensively, the Rams held the J-Hawks to just 27 rushing yards, 32 passing yards and just three first downs in the first half. The Rams led 56-6 at halftime and a continuous clock ran the entire second half.
“I thought we played pretty fast,” Zelenovich said.
06:15AM | Wed, January 20, 2021
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