Your Prep Sports
CEDAR RAPIDS – The waning minutes of the first half appeared to signal a stalemate.
Tasked with tangling with Class 3A No. 2 Cedar Rapids Xavier, the Clear Creek Amana football team frustrated the Saints’ offense early with a fumble recovery, a three-and-out and a sack that left the District 6 prep football opener scoreless late in the second frame.
As the Clippers’ defense bore down in anticipation of a 3rd down and 10 at the Saints’ 6-yard line, Xavier senior quarterback Jaxon Rexroth got loose.
“We were driving the ball all game, just stuff didn’t go right for us in those first drives,” Rexroth said after the Saints scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half on their way to a 30-7 rout of the Clippers Friday night at Saints Field. “But once we put it together and got those scores, our confidence boosted. We were getting off the ball fast. Just playing hard.”
The aforementioned third down started rough for Rexroth, who dropped the snap but had the composure to pick it up off the grass and with his receivers sprinting into pass patterns, scurried to the right sideline for 23 yards and a pivotal first down.
Seven plays later, Xavier senior receiver Jack Breitbach fielded a reverse handoff from Rexroth and tossed a six-yard touchdown to senior receiver Jack Goldsmith for the first of 30 unanswered points.
“We knew we were in a tight ballgame,” fourth-year Clear Creek Amana Coach Gabe Bakker said. “Really two big plays made by two great players. Their quarterback made a fumble on the goal line and ran for a first down on 3rd and 10. And their running back (Jack Lux) is a pretty darn good player and he made a heck of a run over here, too. It was big plays that got us in that first half, and that is a lot of credit to them.”
Lux led all rushers with 165 yards on the ground for Xavier (3-0, 1-0 District 6), while Rexroth delivered a 14-0 halftime lead to his team with a rugged 50-yard TD scamper with just 66 seconds left in the first half.
“Jaxon loves football, cares about football, is smart,” Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said. “I think he just kind of settled down. I think he was pressing a little bit and trying too hard somewhat. But I think he just settled down and the game slowed down for him and he was able to make some plays.”
Rexroth finished the game with 114 rushing yards and two scores, plus an interception on defense.
Despite missing two senior lineman, Clear Creek Amana senior tailback Alex Figueroa appeared to be on pace for a big night with 52 rushing yards in his first 11 attempts, but was limited to just 19 yards in his final 13 carries.
Under center, senior quarterback Ryan Navara directed the Clippers’ offense to five first downs in their first three drives, but eventually left the game with an injured finger.
“In that first half, we were able get a couple first downs,” Bakker said. “That gives guys confidence. We couldn’t put any points on the board, but I think our guys had confidence that we could play with them.
The Clear Creek Amana defense forced three turnovers.
Senior D-lineman Mark Gorbatenko turned away an early Xavier scoring attempt with a fumble recovery at the Clippers’ 3-yard line.
After Xavier intercepted a Navara pass attempt, CCA junior defensive back Ben Swails gave the ball right back to his team with an interception of his own on the very next play.
A recovery of a muffed punt by junior Jayden Massey led to the Clippers’ only score of the game with a 32-yard TD toss from Swails to junior receiver Harrison Rosenberg with 1:55 left.
Clear Creek Amana (1-2, 0-1) hosts Benton Community next Friday, while Xavier entertains Newton.
“We want to get healthy,” Bakker said. “We have got to back in, watch some film and I will be excited to play at home again.”
First Downs 10 17
Rushes-yards 35-75 39-346
Comp-Att-Int 9-23-1 4-13-1
Passing yards 107 39
Total yards 182 385
Punts-avg. 7-40.9 3-36.7
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 5-27 4-30
Clear Creek Amana 0 0 0 7 – 7
Cedar Rapids Xavier 0 14 7 9 – 30
CRX – Jack Goldsmith 6 pass from Jack Breitbach (Lincoln Oakley kick)
CRX – Jaxon Rexroth 50 run (Oakley kick)
CRX –Rexroth 1 run (Oakley kick)
CRX – Safety, punter downed ball in end zone
CRX – Aidan Henry 1 run (Oakley kick)
CCA – Harrison Rosenberg 32 pass from Ben Swails (Anthony Hennes kick)
RUSHING – Clear Creek Amana: Alex Figueroa 24-71, Ryan Navara 4-15, Gage Freeman 4-20, Ben Swails 3-(-31). Cedar Rapids Xavier: Jaxon Rexroth 12-114, Jack Lux 19-165, Nick Lemke 2-12, Aiden Henry 4-44, Jack Breitbach 1-16, Lincoln Oakley 1-(-5).
PASSING – Clear Creek Amana: Ryan Navara 3-13-1-25, Ben Swails 6-10-0-82. Cedar Rapids Xavier: Jaxon Rexroth 3-12-1-33, Jack Breitbach 1-1-0-6.
RECEIVING – Clear Creek Amana: Harrison Rosenberg 3-50, Tom Johnson 4-54, Brock Reade 1-5, Reece Hoffman 1-3. Cedar Rapids Xavier: Jack Breitbach 1-12, Jack Lux 2-21, Jack Goldsmith 1-6.