Bryce Frantz celebrates against Linn-Mar. Tork Mason/For Your Prep SportsBy Clete Campbell
Your Prep Sports
DAVENPORT – At the end of the tour, the Road Warriors went into a celebratory huddle.
The City High Little Hawks hurdled the final obstacle of the trickiest leg of their 2016 schedule in the same style they put away the first two opponents on their critical three-game midseason road trip: in commanding fashion.
Bryce Frantz turned a touchdown hat trick, the City High defense dominated over the final three quarters and the Class 4A No. 6-ranked Little Hawks convincingly downed Davenport Central 49-20 Friday night at Brady Street Stadium.
The Little Hawks (5-1, 2-0 Class 4A District 7) hit the Blue Devils (3-3, 1-1) like an 18-wheeler in a breakaway 15-point second quarter|while crashing Central’s Homecoming party.
“It was a huge team goal to win these road games,” quarterback Nate Wieland said. “Winning the first two games of district was huge. Hopefully, this helps us gain momentum to gaining the No. 1 (district) seed for the playoffs.”
City High senior Brock Hunger
City High needed just seven plays to find the end zone at the game’s start, taking a 7-0 lead just 2:25 on Wieland’s 7-yard QB keeper.
Central, which has already tripled its win total from 2015 by feasting on one of Class 4A’s softest schedules, was looking for its first signature win of the season. Coach Ben Sacco believed his team could compete with City High if it could build on its impressive 31-0 Week 5 shutout of Davenport North.
Alas, the Blue Devils were in the Little Hawks’ class for only a quarter Friday.
Hitting City High with a playbook chalk full of trickeration, including its Wildcat sets, the Blue Devils played City High nearly dead even in an entertaining first quarter. Nate Tyson found James Curtis on a 36-yard pass off a reverse that briefly locked the game at 7-up with 5:40 to play in the first quarter.
But it was virtually all City High from there. Just 3:31 after Curtis’ score, Frantz bounced home on a 6-yard TD run. Defensive back Gabriel Nkumu killed Central’s ensuing possession with an interception and City High was done sweating as a series of fateful mistakes began to do in the Blue Devils.
“We’re still trying to get where City High’s at,” Sacco said. “The game should have never gotten as lopsided at it was. We were always one mistake away from making a big play.”
The second quarter saw Wieland thread a beautiful 30-yard TD strike over double-coverage down the right sideline to an explosive Zach Jones. Wieland beat a fierce Central blitz for the throw – the standout of his stellar 10-for-17, 193-yard night.
“I just threw the ball up and he (Jones) landed right on it,” Wieland said. “We have that (big play) ability. It’s nice to show it.”
Also on the Little Hawks’ second-quarter highlight reel, the defense superglueing Tyson – the Blue Devils’ Wildcat QB – to negative 16 yards rushing on a single three-and-out possession and stuffing QB Zach Taylor on a critical 4th down-and-1 midfield conversion attempt, and Frantz adding a 4-yard score with 1:48 left before halftime to supersize City High’s lead to 28-7.
The third quarter was more of the dominating Little Hawk same with Frantz adding his third touchdown on a 4-yard run and 6-foot3, 251-pound defensive lineman Charles Johnson powering down the right sideline with his best Usain Bolt impression while taking a fumble recovery 64 yards for a touchdown.
Johnson’s score came off one of three turnovers the City High defense forced Friday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him run that fast in practice,” Wieland joked.
Vance Dillon capped off the City High highlight reel with a 98-yard fourth-quarter kickoff return.
Kobe Williams chalked up 134 rushing yards on 17 carries for Central.
City High went 3-for-3 in three challenging road tests against teams with winning records.
Coach Dan Sabers hopes Friday is just a glimmer of how good the Little Hawks can still be.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Sabers said, “but we can still do a lot of things better.”
City High Dav. Central
First Downs 14 13
Rushes-Yards 30-111 41-233
Passing Yards 199 57
Total Yards 310 290
Comp-Att-Int 11-121-1 4-8-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 7-55 4-20
City High 13 15 14 7 – 49
Davenport Central 7 0 0 13 – 20
ICH – Nate Wieland 7 run (Miles Morrow kick)
DC – James Curtis 36 pass from Nate Tyson (Dario Gonzalez kick)
ICH – Bryce Frantz 6 run (kick failed)
ICH – Zach Jones 30 pass from Wieland (Naeem Smith 2 pass from Wieland)
ICH – Frantz 4 run (Morrow kick)
ICH – Frantz 4 run (Morrow kick)
ICH – Charles Johnson 64 fumble recovery (Morrow kick)
DC – Kobe Williams 1 run (kick failed)
ICH – Vance Dillon 98 yard kickoff return (Morrow kick)
DC – LeVon Bellemy 18 interception return (Gonzalez kick)
Rushing – ICH: Frantz 17-70, Wieland 7-27, Narada Poole 3-11, Chris Johnson 2-3, Brock Hunger 1-0, Team 1-(minus 1). DC: Kobe Williams 17-134, Isaiah Litt 6-46, Markese Burrage 3-28, Jatoviay Hill 4-26, Tyson 3-(-5), Isaiah Lift 2-17, Taylor 3-(-15), LeVon Bellemy 2-2, Quentin McDonald 1-2.
Passing – ICH: Nate Wieland 10-17-0 193, Jared Taylor 1-4-1 6. DC: Zach Taylor 2-7-1 11, Tyson 1-1-36.
Receiving – ICH: Jones 5-62, Naeem Smith 2-31, Vance Dillon 1-41, Kennardo Rodney 1-32, Brock Hunger 1-17, Marquel Poole 1-6. DC: Curtis 1-36, Jordan Andrews 2-14, Hill 1-7.