Prep Football: Saints Shut Out Waterloo East, Will Host Prairie Friday
By Jeff Linder, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Short turnaround? Corbin Woods doesn’t mind at all.
“You’ve go to love it,” he said. “You get to keep playing football.”
Keep playing. Keep winning.
Class 4A Cedar Rapids Xavier sidestepped a long opening drive by Waterloo East, then routed the Trojans, 45-0, in a Class 4A second-round football playoff game Monday at Saints Field.
The Saints scored on a punt return by Woods and an interception return by Trey Sampson to move to 11-0. They’ll host Cedar Rapids Prairie in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday. The Hawks (8-3) stunned No. 2 Iowa City West, 49-28, Monday.
Xavier handled Prairie, 48-14, on Sept. 7.
“They’ve gotten a lot better,” Woods said. “They’re going to be hungry.”
For both teams, it will be their fourth game in 15 days. And for Xavier, it’s unlikely to be as unconventional a game as they played Monday.
East (6-5) ran 64 plays from scrimmage, compared to 27 for the Saints. The yardage numbers were virtually even (Xavier had 183 yards, East 176). But the score was nowhere near close.
Xavier led 35-0 at halftime and the continuous clock ticked throughout the second half.
“We really didn’t have the ball much, but the defense played amazing,” Woods said. “Our defense, our special teams … all areas played well.”
The Trojans received the opening kickoff and marched all the way to the Xavier 5 before turning it over on downs.
“(East’s Desmond) Van Arsdale is a great quarterback, and he controlled them well down the field,” Sampson said. “We just had to get it going (defensively) a little bit.”
After 15 plays and more than six minutes, the Saints finally stopped the Trojans. And the game turned on a dime.
Xavier worked its way out of the hole behind the running of Brendan Miller, then Reggie Schulte spotted Bryce Grimm for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
“Huge turnaround,” said Xavier Coach Duane Schulte. “The line gave Reggie time, Bryce ran a nice route.”
That was the first of three Xavier touchdowns in a span of 2 minutes, 8 seconds.
After East went three-and-out, Woods took a punt return at the Xavier 34 and returned it down the left sideline for a 66-yard TD.
“(Sampson) had a great block, and I kind of keyed the return off of that,” Woods said. “Great block, just a great game by Trey.”
After the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans fumbled on the first play at the East 23. Schulte rolled right and threw left to a wide-open Grimm at the goal line, who stepped into the end zone. Suddenly, it was 21-0.
Miller added a 4-yard TD run, then Sampson picked off a pass and returned it 33 yards for a score to make it 35-0 at the half.
A 33-yard field goal by Ryan Persick (who also converted six PATs) and a 6-yard TD run by Luke Hammerberg capped the scoring.
Xavier’s offensive numbers were modest — Miller ran for 54 yards, Schulte threw for 133 — but, like Woods said, the Saints scarcely had the ball. East’s opening drive was a factor. The returns were another. And the continuous clock was another.
Nobody was complaining. The Saints are still playing.
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