CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Welcome to the Century Club, Duane Schulte.
Class 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier repeatedly took advantage of a short field in the first half and clobbered 42nd Street rival Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 35-7, in a Mississippi Valley Conference battle last night at Saints Field.
The victory was the 100th of Schulte's career, now in his 17th season.
"I've been fortunate enough to have great assistant coaches and outstanding players," Schulte said. "And I'm fortunate to have a wife like mine (Sherry) who more or less raised our four kids."
Schulte is 100-62 overall, including 76-48 at Xavier. This one came surprisingly easy.
The Saints (1-0) had the lead barely two minutes into the game, extended it to 14-0 soon after, and built a 28-0 halftime advantage.
Four players scored the four first-half touchdowns.
Momentum swung Xavier's way, decisively and irreversibly, on the first play of scrimmage.
Kennedy's Anthony Crawley fumbled, and the Saints recovered at the Kennedy 22. Four plays later, a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Jared Volz got Xavier on the board.
"The early turnover set the tone for the game," Schulte said. "It helped us establish a little momentum."
The Cougars (0-1) went three-and-out on their next possession, then a 47-yard punt return by Nathan Even put the Saints back in business. Even caught an 8-yard TD pass from Andy Didio on the second play of the drive to make it 14-0.
Didio was effective in his varsity debut at quarterback. He completed 11 of 12 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
"I was a little nervous beforehand," he said. "But the line came out and did their jobs, the receivers ran great routes. The defense gave us great field position. It made my job pretty easy."
Kennedy drove to the Xavier 15 before Nicholas Bruns missed on a field-goal attempt early in the second quarter, then Xavier went back to work, driving 80 yards for another score. Pat Chizek did the honors from 5 yards out.
A bad snap on a punt attempt allowed Xavier to set up shop at the Kennedy 25, then Didio located Ryan Mains for a 19-yard TD pass to make it 28-0 with 0:34 left in the first half.
Xavier finished with 269 yards of offense, Kennedy 151.
Chizek finished with 74 yards on 16 carries, including an 11-yard scoring dash with 2:40 left in the third quarter that allowed the continuous clock to run.
It stopped when Rossi Adams scored a consolation touchdown for the Cougars, a 12-yarder with 2:30 remaining in the game.
Kennedy hosts Linn-Mar next Thursday at Kingston Stadium; Xavier is at Cedar Rapids Prairie next Friday.