Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Imperfect on this night. But still perfect where it counts.
Class 4A fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier overcame four turnovers and dampened Cedar Rapids Washington's homecoming, 35-13, in a Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division football game Thursday night at Kingston Stadium.
"When you make mistakes, you just have to keep going and stay enthused," said Xavier receiver Corbin Woods, who scored the backbreaking touchdown on a 57-yard reception early in the fourth quarter. "You can't get too high, and you can't get too low. You just have to keep fighting."
Xavier (6-0 overall, 3-0 division) moved into a first-place tie alongside Cedar Falls in the Valley Division. The Tigers (5-0, 3-0) are at Cedar Rapids Prairie on Friday.
The Saints weren't perfect Thursday. They were good enough.
Washington (1-5, 0-4) lost for the fifth straight week, but the Warriors were within 14-13 after scoring a pair of quick touchdowns to start the second half. Mitch Bredeson's 4-yard run and Riyad Ajram's PAT kick got the Warriors within a point with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
Xavier had third-and-20 at its own 42 when Schulte lofted a 50-yard bomb to Nick Steingreaber to shift the momentum the Saints' way for good. Schulte hit Matt Nelson for an 8-yard touchdown on the next play to make it 21-13.
Schulte came into the game as the most efficient passer in 4A with a gaudy 18-to-1 touchdown-to-interception rate, but he threw a pair of early picks.
"I made a couple of terrible throws," said Schulte, who recovered to finish 11-of-15 for 210 yards and three touchdowns. "Give Washington credit. They were ready to play. I got my teammates around me, and our defense was flying to the ball."
Schulte connected with Woods along the right sideline on the next drive, hitting him in stride to give the Saints a 28-13 lead with 9:23 left, then Logan Jones wrapped up the scoring with a 4-yard run with 4:06 to go.
Xavier finished with a 359-136 advantage in yardage, and the turnover count ended in a 4-4 draw.
Washington Coach Tony Lombardi was relatively upbeat afterward.
"I liked a lot of things about tonight," he said. "We competed until the end. We knew we were going up against a very good football team, and we hung right with them most of the way."
Xavier led 14-0 at halftime behind a 6-yard touchdown run by Brendan Miller and a 21-yard scoring pass from Schulte to Nelson.
The Saints' defense was typically stout, holding the Warriors to 78 yards in the first half. Washington's deepest penetration was the Xavier 30 late in the second quarter, but Nelson sacked Mitch Blades for a 12-yard loss to kill the threat.
Blades scored Washington's first touchdown on an 18-yard run, shortly after the Saints fumbled a short kickoff that opened the second half.
Miller rushed for 118 yards to lead Xavier's ground attack.
Xavier hosts Waterloo West next week; Washington faces Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Kingston.