West High junior Ethan PostlerRyan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The best way to ensure a quarterback has success in his first career start is to give him some help.
West High gave Ethan Postler plenty in all three phases of the game on Friday night.
Postler completed all five of his pass attempts, throwing for 118 yards and three touchdowns and got plenty of help from his play-making teammates in a 59-7 win over Burlington (2-4) at Trojan Field.
The junior quarterback got help from his offense, defense and special teams in his first start in place of injured classmate Evan Flitz.
Devontae Lane ran for 49 yards and a touchdown, Oliver Martin set up two touchdowns with long punt returns and Max Brown returned a fumble for a touchdown as West High (4-2) snapped a two-game losing skid.
West High senior Devontae Lane
“I knew coming in that we have a lot of weapons and a lot of good players on this team I just had to do my job and not try to do too much,” Postler said. “They were just making it easy for me and I was just doing my job.”
West High scored the first eight times it had the ball on Friday, including all six of its first-half possessions while building a 45-0 halftime lead.
Postler threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half as West High rolled up 216 of its 371 yards of total offense before halftime.
“We’ve always knew that Ethan was right there at the varsity level and we didn’t ask him to do too much,” West High coach Garrett Hartwig said. “With some of the guys that we have we said let them make plays for you and he did a great job of that.”
West High took advantage of some good field position in the first half to put the game away early.
The Trojans started first-half drives at the Burlington 26, 9, 41, 48 and 2 yard line while scoring touchdowns on five of its six possessions in the opening two quarters.
Lane had all 49 of his rushing yards in the first half, including a 9-yard touchdown run that capped one of West High’s two scoring drives of two plays or less.
“It felt good, that was a win that we needed,” Lane said. “I’m happy that we came out and performed like we did.”
West High grabbed the momentum early with its defense as the Trojans stopped Burlington on a fourth-and-six play at the Grayhound 26-yard line just two minutes into the game.
The Trojans took a 7-0 lead eight plays later when Postler found fullback Breyton McDole on a roll-out pass for a five-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal play.
“That was exciting, it was my first touchdown pass,” Postler said. “I saw him open and just put it to him and he scored.”
It was all Trojans the rest of the way.
West followed with its best drive of the night, a 7-play, 85-yard march that ended with Postler hitting Oliver Martin in stride for a 47-yard touchdown pass.
Martin added a 20-yard touchdown grab on a slant pattern latter and finished with three catches for 76 yards and two scores in one half of work.
“I thought Ethan played really well,” Martin said. “He practiced well all week and we knew we could trust him.”
Martin set up a pair of touchdown runs with long punt returns.
His 41-yard return set up Lane’s 9-yard touchdown run that made it 21-0 and his 38-yard return late in the first half to the 2-yard line McDole 1-yard dive that made it 45-0 West High with 1:02 left in the first half.
“He kicked it to my right side and I saw all the open space on left side,” Martin said of his return. “I just tried to beat everyone over there and once I got over there I had to make a cut.
West High finished with 253 rushing yards as it improved to 1-1 in Class 4A District 8 play with a road test at Cedar Rapids Kennedy coming next week.
“You always need a win coming off two losses,” Hartwig said. “We did not play well in those two games and we lost those games to good opponents but made lots of mistakes.”
West High Burlington
First downs 17 6
Rushes-yards 42-253 36-84
Passing yards 118 53
Total yards 371 137
Comp-Att-Int 5-5-0 4-7-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-3
Penalties-Yards 4-25 5-48
Burlington 0 0 7 0 – 7
West High 14 31 7 0 – 59
ICW – Breyton McDole 5 pass from Ethan Postler (Lucas Karwal kick)
ICW – Oliver Martin 47 pass from Postler (Karwal kick)
ICW – Devontae Lane 9 run (Karwal kick)
ICW – Martin 20 pass from Postler (Karwal kick)
ICW – Karwal 30 field goal
ICW – Max Brown 40 fumble return (Karwal kick)
ICW – Breyton McDole 1 run (Karwal kick)
ICW – Jason Strunk 51 run (Karwal kick)
BUR – Spencer Sherwood 9 pass from Mason Leinbach (Cooper Wiemann kick)
ICW – Brennon Keen 8 run (Karwal kick)
Rushing – ICW: Jason Strunk 9-76, Devontae Lane 7-49, Dylan Miene 6-36, Cole Mabry 5-20, Breyton McDole 4-19, Brennon Keen 3-17, Davonte Levy 1-15, Nick Campbell 5-14, Ethan Postler 1-0, Team 1-(-2). BUR: Tykel Gordon 22-73, KJ Franklin 8-21, Blaise Rosson 1-(-2), Mason Leinbach 4-(-6), Team 1-(-2).
Passing – ICW: Ethan Postler 5-5-0 118. BUR: Mason Leinbach 4-7-1 53.
Receiving – ICW: Oliver Martin 3-76, Traevis Buchanan 1-37, Breyton McDole 1-5. BUR: Everett Wilson 2-11, KJ Franklin 1-33, Spencer Sherwood 1-9.