IOWA CITY Iowa City West's wide receivers get all the attention, but don't overlook running back Ezra Reiners.
The senior ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns and threw for another score as the Class 4A second-ranked Trojans thumped Cedar Rapids Prairie 58-27 in the Mississippi Valley Conference last night at Trojan Field.
"We've thought all along that the running game is going to be the equalizer," West Coach Brian Sauser said. "We just run simple stuff and our guys controlled the line of scrimmage."
There wasn't much defense. The teams combined for seven touchdowns of 20 yards or more. The Hawks didn't even have their starting quarterback.
West (4-0) compiled 24 first downs but might have lost star receiver Jeremy Morgan.
Morgan, who caught seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, left in the second half with an ankle or knee injury. Sauser didn't have details but was concerned Morgan will miss time. Sauser thought it might be a high ankle sprain.
Morgan is one of West's top playmakers along with fellow receiver Dondre Alexander. Morgan has committed to play college basketball for Northern Iowa.
Reiners looked impressive for the Trojans.
The 5-10, 180-pound back rushed for a 4-yard touchdown on the second play of the second quarter to give West a 14-0 lead. The Trojans got the ball back less than two minutes later. This time Reiners threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Morgan.
Reiners' best effort came in the second half. Reiners rushed for 123 yards in the half, including a dazzling 43-yard touchdown scamper where he ran through at least five tacklers and somehow managed to stay on his feet.
The Trojans are known for the flashy passes and outside speed. Reiners adds a new element.
"We're working out butts off not to be a finesse team," Sauser said.
Prairie (2-2) mustered only 52 yards and three first downs in the first half before tallying four scores in the second half.
DeMetrius Harper returned the opening kickoff of the second half 94 yards for a touchdown to put the Hawks on the board.
Prairie quarterback Jace Hanna did not play after missing most of the second half last week against Cedar Rapids Xavier because of an ailing left ankle. Trey Beckmann and Dylan Kuchemann split snaps for the Hawks.
Prairie's Jarred Edmonds caught touchdown passes for 24 and 74 yards. Harper added a 68-yard touchdown reception in the fourth.
The Trojans led 21-0 at halftime.