Opening Round Rewind: West High Not Satisfied With One Win
Devontae Lane celebrates against Bettendorf. Jeff Yoder/For Your Prep SportsBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
West High pulled off the surprise of the opening round in Class 4A with a 24-17 road win over fifth-ranked Bettendorf.
Now the Trojans are out to show they have more in them than one playoff win.
“I said it in the postgame speech, we were excited, you will always take a playoff win, you take it to heart and you celebrate it but we want this ride to continue,” Hartwig said. “We get another week to do this and we have another big challenge in front of us.”
West High (8-2) answered its first challenge on Friday against a Bettendorf team that had defeated West High in the playoffs three times in the previous five seasons.
The Trojans were 0-5 against Bettendorf since 2011, losing those games by an average of 18 points.
West High got a measure of revenge against the Bulldogs on Friday but Hartwig wants to make sure the Trojans get a lot more than that starting on Friday with a quarterfinal matchup against sixth-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie (9-1)
“Our goal wasn’t to win one game in the playoffs or to beat Bettendorf, it was to go all the way,” Hartwig said. “That’s been our goal and we reminded them of that right away, that we aren’t satisfied and we aren’t done yet.”
The win sends West High back to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 when the Trojans lost to Cedar Rapids Washington.
West High will be seeking its first trip to the state semifinals since 2002 when it travels to Cedar Rapids Prairie on Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Cedar Rapids Prairie won the regular season meeting with West High 39-20 back on September 23.
“It’s not about one game or a district championship it’s a state championship that you dream for,” Hartwig said. “If you don’t believe that’s what you can do then why are you playing at this point?”
Playoff sack masters: City High had 10 sacks in nine regular season games. The Little Hawks nearly matched that total in its playoff opener against North Scott.
City High sacked North Scott quarterback Samuel Stonskas six times with five six different Little Hawks getting credit for a sack.
Jordain Buckland, Dillon Africa, Scooter Hickman, Brock Hunger and Joey Schnoebelen all had sacks and Cam Ring and Hunger teamed up for another sack.
Historic Run: Luke Lenoch scored a lot of touchdowns in his illustrious career, 87 to be exact.
Touchdown number 88 for Lenoch came with some history.
Lenoch became just the 14th player in state history to surpass the 6,000-yard mark on a 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of a 49-15 loss to Regina on Friday.
The West Branch senior finished Friday with 116 yards and a score on 21 carries and ended his career with a school-record 6,022 yards and 88 touchdowns.
Welcome Back: After missing three straight games due to injury Isaac Vollstedt made his presence felt in his return.
The Regina junior rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in a 49-15 win over West Branch.
It was the fourth 100-yard game of the season for Vollstedt, who had three straight games with more than 100 yards rushing before missing the previous three game.s
Offensive player of the week: West High quarterback Evan Flitz completed 14-of-20 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 win over Bettendorf.
Flitz threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Oliver Martin and connected with Devontae Lane for 6-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner.
The junior added a 1-yard touchdown run in the win.
Runner-up: City High senior running back Bryce Frantz ran for 141 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in a 40-14 win over North Scott.
Defensive player of the week: West High junior linebacker Trumell Roberts had 5.5 tackles and came up with the play of the game, returning a fumble he forced 13 yards to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Runner-up: Solon senior defensive lineman Jackson Walker had three tackles for loss and three sacks among his five tackles in a 49-14 win over Benton Community.