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Prep Football: Xavier Impressive Again in 48-14 Romp Past Prairie

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CEDAR RAPIDS What did we learn from Week 3 of the prep football season? Among other things, the Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints are good.

Really, really good. Definitely the best team in the Metro.

"I don't know what it looks like, to be honest with you," Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said after his team clubbed Cedar Rapids Prairie, 48-14, Friday night at John Wall Field. "Because as a coach, you're always focused on execution, making the
right play call and all that stuff. I appreciate you saying that, but we're not perfect, by any means."

They were pretty close to it in this highly anticipated matchup that turned out to be a mismatch. Xavier (3-0) scored twice in the first quarter and never looked back, impressing in every way you could: offense, defense and special teams.

Cal Stovie ran for 223 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game after a 55-yard run in the third quarter with a left knee injury he didn't think was serious. Quarterback Reggie Schulte threw three TD passes.

One of those was to big tight end Matt Nelson, who, as a pass-rushing end, spearheaded a Xavier defense that significantly slowed down Prairie's high-flying offense. Corbin Woods caught a touchdown pass and had a couple of good punt returns that set up short fields, and kicker Ryan Persick made all six of his extra points and two field goals.

"Just embrace the grind, as we like to say," Reggie Schulte said. "Kind of stay after it and stay after it. We did a nice job tonight, but there are a lot of things we can work on. Sayint that, I'm really proud of the effort on both sides of the ball."

"They are a very good football team," said Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey, whose team lost its first game. "I thought they came out a little bit more aggressive than we did. That's something that we have to take blame for as a coaching staff, that we didn't get these guys ready to go this week. We had some good matchups throughout the game that we didn't take advantage of. They're aggressive, they run well, they're obviously very well coached. They do good things on both sides."

Reggie Schulte hit Woods on a 20-yard out-and-up pattern to get Xavier on the scoreboard. The Saints stopped dangerous DeMetrius Harper inside the 5-yard line on the ensuing kickoff return, eventually setting up Nelson's TD.

It went to 24-0 Saints on a Persick 39-yard field goal and Stovie 33-yard TD run. Prairie finally put together a good drive that resulted in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jace Hanna to Jarred Edmonds, but Xavier immediately responded with a drive in the final two minutes that culminated in a 1-yard Stovie TD plunge with three seconds left in the half.

"The offensive line really started getting off the ball and staying on their blocks all night," said Stovie. "They made everything easy."

Hanna didn't play much in the second half, resting and icing a left ankle injury that he incurred last week. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 141 yards.

Harper was limited to two catches for 11 yards. Prairie's final touchdown came on a 25-yard run late by sophomore backup QB Trey Beckman.

Xavier won the yardage battle, 356-178.

"I think our kids will battle back and refocus," Morrissey said. "We'll be OK. This is a good test, a good test of our character tonight. I fully expect our guys to respond well next week."

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