Your Prep Sports Week 5 Rapid Reaction: City High, West Branch and Liberty High Post Statement Wins in Week 5
Your Prep Sports
Week Five of the prep football season was a wild one in the Your Prep Sports area.
City High won the Battle for the Boot for a second consecutive season, Clear Creek Amana and Liberty High rallied for key district wins, West Branch won a top-10 matchup, Solon got a road shutout and Regina got back on track with a homecoming rout of Wilton.
What stood out in those games?
We take our first glance back at Week 5 action here.
What Stood Out?
Statement Win for Liberty High
Liberty High opened eyes in week one with its win over City High.
The Lightning backed it up with a nice win at home over Linn-Mar in week and recovered from a stumble on the road at Western Dubuque with a rout of Clear Creek Amana last week.
Friday was the statement for the Lightning.
Trailing 16-6 entering the fourth quarter Liberty High got a pair of late touchdown passes from Graham Beckman and rallied for a 20-16 win over fifth-ranked North Scott.
The win is big. No way around it.
North Scott is a perennial power, the 2020 state champion and defending 4A, District 3 champion that ran the table in district play a year ago including a 21-0 win over Liberty High.
Equally important as the tally in the win column was how the Lightning got there.
Liberty High controlled the games against City High and Linn-Mar from the outset.
On Friday the Lightning finished, something it didn’t do in its loss to Western Dubuque.
This Liberty High won a game on Friday that only great teams win and in the process proved it can be a real player in the 4A race.
West Branch Flexes Again
This was supposed to be the first big test for West Branch with Mediapolis coming to the Little Rose Bowl an undefeated top-10 team.
Instead it turned into another dominant effort from the Bears.
Andy Henson rushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns and West Branch outgained Mediapolis 249-92 on the ground in an emphatic 35-13 win.
Chew on these numbers.
Mediapolis standout running back Anthony Isley had single game totals of 155, 262, 180 and 159 yards in the first four games and entered with 756 rushing yards at 8.4 yards per pop.
West Branch held Isley to 30 yards on 14 carries.
Mediapolis entered averaging 307 yards per game on the ground.
West Branch held the Bulldogs to 92 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Mediapolis allowed 25 total points in its first four games.
West Branch rushed for 249 yards and rolled up 390 yards of total offense and 35 points.
These Bears are for real.
Everything pointed toward Friday’s Battle for the Boot being a true four-quarter battle.
The Little Hawks blew that up early.
City High bolted to a 21-0 lead, scored on its first four drives and never looked back in a 49-0 win at West High.
It was the first win at West High for the Little Hawks since 2016 and the first shutout for City High in the series since 2003.
City High was the aggressor on both sides of the ball from the outset and finished with a 531-118 edge in total yardage.
Clippers Show Some Toughness
Clear Creek Amana made some mistakes on Friday night in Oskaloosa while watching an early 13-0 lead slip away.
Then the Clippers showed some toughness.
Clear Creek Amana (3-2) closed the game with 14 unanswered points in the final five minutes on its way to a 28-13 win over the Indians.
Trailing 14-13 Jackson Schmidt connected with Andrew Schlemme for a 75-yard touchdown pass that put the Clippers up 21-13.
Reece Hoffman sealed the win by returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown.
The win moves Clear Creek Amana to 1-0 in Class 4A, District 4 play and is a major boost for the Clippers postseason hopes.
Perhaps equally important is the way that the Clippers won on Friday showing some grit and toughness rallying late after letting an early led get away.
Who Stepped up?
The City High junior quarterback/receiver/kick returner/defensive back did a little bit of everything on Friday.
In reality Larson is a quarterback and safety but he showed Friday he can be dangerous in any capacity on a football field.
Larson completed 20-of-27 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for 28 yards and a score.
He caught a 15-yard touchdown pass and also had an interception of his own.
All in the biggest game of the year for the Little Hawks.
Three Games to Watch Next Week
Cedar Rapids Washington (2-3) at Clear Creek Amana (3-2) – A key district contest for both teams is a rematch of last year’s 20-19 thriller won by the Clippers at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids.
West Branch (5-0) at Durant (5-0) – Another top-10 matchup for West Branch as the Bears travel to take on fifth-ranked Durant and 1,000-yard rusher Nolan DeLong in a battle of unbeatens and district leaders.
Washington (2-3) at Solon (3-2) – The Spartans will look to go 2-0 and move into the district drivers seat with a home win over the Demons.