Your Prep Sports
The longer the playoffs go the better Evan Flitz seems to perform.
That’s good news for West High which will play for its first state title since 1999 on Friday thanks in large part to the play of its junior quarterback.
Flitz continued his strong postseason by throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-7 semifinal win over fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington last Friday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
The performance by Flitz helped lift West High (10-2) in the Class 4A state title game for the first time since 1999 where it will face three-time defending 4A champion West Des Moines Dowling (11-1) on Friday at 7:06 p.m.
In his first ever appearance in the UNI-Dome, Flitz completed 19-of-26 passes without an interception and tossed scoring strikes of 34, 3 and 22 yards.
“I would say that I’m a pretty calm guy but certainly when you step out of the tunnel and you see the fans yelling and the atmosphere it’s very different,” Flitz said. “Getting a win feels good and having experience that I can draw from is great.”
Flitz has been impressive in his first season as a starter, completing 70 percent of his passes for 2,051 yards and 22 touchdowns with five interceptions.
The 6-foot, 175-pound junior has been at his best in the playoffs, completing 55-of-74 passes for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns with just one interception in three postseason wins.
Behind the play of Flitz, West High is averaging 32.3 points and 393 total yards per game in postseason play.
We talked about that, it’s no different, we have faced pressure since really the beginning of the season and we are used to it,” Flitz said of the postseason. “All through the playoffs we kind of blocked that out. We trust in what we are doing here in practice and that carries over to Friday nights.”
Flitz missed a pair of games with a knee injury in the middle of the season but has come back to lead West High to five straight wins.
He is completing better than 76 percent of his passes in his five games since returning from the injury sustained in the second half of a week five loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie.
Junior Ethan Postler led West High to a pair of wins with Flitz sidelined and together the duo has helped West High lead Class 4A in passing efficiency, completing better than 68 percent of its passes on the season.
After passing for 119 yards in his first game back from injury Flitz has thrown for more than 200 yards in four straight games including a career-high 330 with five touchdowns in a quarterfinal win over Prairie.
“We really took control of our own destiny and winning out in the regular season and then three playoff wins,” Flitz said. “We garnered some momentum and we’ve been able to keep that going.”