IOWA CITY, Iowa A signature win for Brian Sauser's program. A historic loss for the crosstown rival.
Class 4A No. 2 Iowa City West pounded Iowa City High in a 44-0 blowout last night at Trojan Field to regain possession of the Battle for the Boot trophy for the first time since 2004. The Little Hawks never got past West's 40-yard line.
"It's hard for me to even put into words how great this feels," Sauser said. "You put up with four years of crap and everybody talks you guys can't do this and you can't do that. You keep plugging away and you keep believing that if you do things right, eventually it will be your night.
"Tonight was our night. We dominated every phase of that football game."
The Trojans were jumping up and down in the waning seconds and then rushed across the field to take the trophy. West's players carried it right to the student section, which yelled, "We got the Boot! We got the Boot!"
"As it's ticking down, you realize everything we've done the last nine months has led to this," senior captain Samuel McLeran said. "You earn every minute of it. We earned the right to be here. We earned the right to play with confidence. That's exactly what we did.
Ezra Reiners rushed for almost all of his 160 yards in the first half and the Trojans held City to 81 yards for the game to snap an eight-game skid in the series.
West (7-0, 4-0) jumped all over the Little Hawks with big plays.
Reid Bonner returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, darting to the near sideline before deciding to loop back across the field. The senior got a few big blocks, including a punishing blow from Dondre Alexander, and then sprinted down the sideline for the score.
Reiners sprinted to a 77-yard touchdown on run in the second quarter on West's next possession, shaking a few tackles and racing pass City's secondary.
Late in the third quarter with West leading 30-0, Alexander caught a deep pass from Nate Boland, carried a defender 10 yards before shedding him on his way to a 53-yard touchdown.
For City (4-3, 3-2), the 44-point loss is the program's worst since at least 1992, which as far back as records go on the team's website. It's also the first time City has been shut out in consecutive weeks during the same time period.
The Little Hawks just couldn't get anything going offensively.
City had just one turnover but couldn't sustain drives against West's tough defensive front.
Running back Amos Lavela has been banged up most of the season and hobbled on and off the field. Lavela finished with 15 yards on seven carries.