City High senior Bryce Frantz. Tork Mason/For Your Prep Sports.By Susan Harman
Your Prep Sports
CEDAR RAPIDS – A six-pack of turnovers and other offensive inefficiencies did in City High’s football team Friday in a 4A quarterfinal playoff game at Kingston Stadium.
Fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington took advantage of the miscues to post a 30-14 victory and advance to the state semifinals next Friday night against Iowa City West. The Little Hawks concluded their season with an 8-3 record.
“It’s been a great run with this class through elementary and junior high,” senior Nate Wieland said. “It’s been a really fun ride.”
City High lost three fumbles and threw three interceptions. Fumbles on the first two City possessions were converted into a 10-0 lead. But the Little Hawks fought back. Naeem Smith intercepted a pass at the goal line to stop a long Washington drive, and on the next play Wieland connected with Vance Dillon for a 72-yard touchdown pass.
The Warriors added a field goal to lead 13-6 late in the first period, so City was still in good shape.
But the Warrior defense shut down City the rest of the half.
“That’s the kind of thing that’s going to hurt when they look back,” City High coach Dan Sabers said. “We could play with those guys, there’s no question we could, but that’s the game.”
“That defense has been aggressive all year,” Wieland said. “It was tough for us to see what was coming, when they are blitzing and when they’re not. They have a really good defense, just fly to the football.”
“I don’t know, it happens somewhat frequently with those guys,” Washington coach Paul James said of his defense. “Sometimes they bend a little bit, and they might get beat. Then they are resilient. They forget about the bad stuff and all of a sudden tighten things up.”
The Little Hawks couldn’t move the ball the next possession, and a short punt gave the Warriors the ball in City territory. Washington drove 42 yards in five plays to extend the lead to 20-6.
fumbled on the next possession, and Nathaniel Burke recovered at the City 29. Five plays later Connor Malcolm scored on an 8-yard run to boost the lead to 27-6.
“I don’t think it was them stopping us,” City junior Zach Jones said. “I think we kind of stopped ourselves with all the turnovers. I think the turnovers got to us in our heads.”
An interception by Jones halted another Washington drive at the City 3-yard line with 1:01 left in the half.
A Warrior penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct kept the drive alive, and Wieland hit Jones with a 37-yard pass to set up the Little Hawks at the Warrior 40 with just less than 40 seconds left. But an interception on another pass intended for Jones ended the threat.
“They are disruptive, and their defense creates things,” Sabers said. “They are aggressive. They have good athletes out there. (Linebacker O’Rien Vance) is a beast. They were a better team.”
The 21-point deficit was too much to overcome, but City did mount a touchdown drive in the third quarter after the Warriors failed to convert a fourth-and-7 at the City 46.
“We came out a new team at halftime,” Jones said. “We wanted to prove what we could do and who we are.”
The drive was aided by a 20-yard fourth-down catch by Jones at the Washington 8-yard line. Bryce
Frantz finished the drive with a 2-yard TD run. A two-point conversion cut the lead to 27-14. Jones caught nine passes for 140 yards.
“We just executed a little better, especially on offense,” Wieland said. “We know we can put damage on any defense. We got together at halftime, talked to each other and came out and executed.”
City had good field position to start the final quarter but couldn’t move past the Washington 20. Then the Warrior offense responded with a 14-play, 4-minute, 36-second drive that netted a field goal and bumped the lead to 30-14 with only 5:20 to play.
“They really started to hurt us on the perimeter with the running game,” Sabers said. “We didn’t respond as well as we needed to. That drive was tough.”
Warrior running back Ian Thomas ran for 131 yards total and did a lot of damage on that drive.
Wieland said the offense had to take some responsibility for that drive because the defense was on the field too long. City was held to 52 yards rushing for the game.
Washington finished with 213 yards rushing, 147 passing and 21 first downs.
“I can’t say anything bad about our kids,” Sabers said. “They came back and battled the second half and tried to overcome all the things that happened. I’ve been on the other side too.
“Our seniors did a lot of great things for us. It’s playoff football. What can you say? We had some great wins. I’m proud of them.”
First downs 15 21
Rushing-yards 26-52 47-213
Comp-att-int 15-34-3 14-28-2
Passing-yards 243 147
Punts-avg. 3-35 3-33
Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-33 9-95
City High 0 6 8 0 – 14
CR Washington 10 17 0 3 – 30
CRW – Drew Dostal 32 fumble return (Andrew Hammer kick)
CRW – Hammer 42 field goal
ICH – Vance Dillon 72 pass from Nate Wieland (kick failed)
CRW – Hammer 35 field goal
CRW – Ian Thomas 11 run (Hammer kick)
CRW – Connor Malcolm 8 run (Hammer kick)
ICH – Bryce Frantz 2 run (Wieland run)
CRW – Hammer 26 field goal
Rushing – ICH: Nate Wieland 18-64, Bryce Frantz 5-4, Narado Pooole 1-1, Zach Jones 1-(-4); CRW: Ian Thomas 27-131, Connor Malcolm 11-52, Drew Dostal 3-13, Haven Henningsen 2-9, Ben Nassif 2-7, Bryan Kunde 1-1, team 1-0.
Passing – ICH: Nate Wieland 15-34-3 243; CRW: 14-28-2 147.
Receiving – ICH: Zach Jones 9-140, Vance Dillon 4-101, Brock Hunger 1-2, Gabriel Nkumu 1-0; CRW: Drew Dostal 7-82, Nick Bjornsen 4-54, Ben Nassif 2-14, Cade Saylor 1-(-4).