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Mistakes doom Trojans

West High falls to Dowling again
Dowling’s Mitchell Riggs and Tom Derry bring down West High’s Evan Flitz Friday, Nov. 17, in the Class 4A state championship game against West Des Moines Dowling in the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls (photo by Chris Umscheid).

CEDAR FALLS– History repeated itself, and was made Friday, Nov. 17, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls as the West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School Maroons defeated the Iowa City West High Trojans in the Class 4A state football championship game for the second year in a row, and picked up its fifth-consecutive title in the process.
Dowling defeated the Trojans 23-10 last year and won 35-21 in the rematch.
The Maroons entered the contest with an 11-1 record, losing 22-19 to Ankeny Centennial, while the Trojans were undefeated at 12-0.
The Trojans found the end zone first as Evan Flitz connected with Traevis Buchanan on a nine-yard pass to score with 8:32 remaining in the first quarter to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive. Lucas Karwal booted the ball through the uprights for the extra point and West was up, 7-0.
The Maroons only needed three plays and 23 seconds to cover 80 yards and score on a 41-yard run after taking West’s kickoff. A good extra-point kick tied the game 7-7 with 8:09 left in the period.
Dowling struck again in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns off a 38-yard run and a three-yard run to go up 21-7 at halftime. The Maroons put seven more points on the board with 9:37 remaining in the third quarter off a 14-yard touchdown pass and extra-point kick, making it 28-7. Buchanan scored with 3:17 left in the period on an 18-yard pass play for the Trojans’ second touchdown of the game.
The Maroons put the game out of reach early in the fourth scoring on a run from near midfield to go up, 35-14. The Trojans kept fighting, however, and Flitz connected with Austin West with 8:25 left in the ballgame on a touchdown pass caught just inside the purple of the end zone. Karwal’s kick made it 35-21.
Flitz completed 30 of 40 pass attempts (setting the Class 4A state championship record for completions) for 347 yards, three touchdowns, and was intercepted once. Buchanan took six passes 114 yards. Trumell Roberts led the ground attack with nine carries for 36 yards. Jason Strunk and Caden Fedeler led the West defense with four unassisted tackles apiece.
Three fumbles, one interception and 82 yards worth of penalties all took a toll on the Trojans.
Staunch Maroon defense, which held West High to only 44 yards of rushing, did, too. The Trojan defense foiled Dowling by not allowing any third or fourth-down conversions, but could not contain Jayson Murray, who carried the ball 19 times for 123 yards and all three touchdowns.
“We haven’t made those types of mistakes all year,” Coach Garrett Hartwig said. “Credit West Des Moines Dowling for forcing (us) into those mistakes. You can’t do that against good teams, and they are the best team this year… today they were the best team. I’ll take our guys anywhere against anybody, but…(*sigh*) it’s hard to process.” Hartwig added, “It’s a tough one. You lose to a team that flat-out beats you, you can walk away. You lose to a team after you make a lot of mistakes, that’s a tough one you’ve got to learn from. Hopefully our young guys saw that tonight.”
It was the final gridiron performance for seniors Andre White, Jeremy Brown, Parris Taylor, Dylan Miene, Trumell Roberts, Traevis Buchanan, Austin Geasland, Dillon Doyle, Evan Flitz, Jamaal Njoroge, Lucas Karwal, Logan Trumbull, Austin West, Quinn Foerstner, Jackson Steburg, Ethan McAreavy, Brennon Keen, Ryan Kadenge, Quinn Baker, Dillon Shephard, Jake Davis, Chris Mott, Nathan Dill, Caden Fedeler, CK Guran, Guy Snow, Enutifa Gamia, Kobe Burns, Joe Briddle, Will Laverman, Jonathan Gannon, Tom Adolph, Nate Daniels, Lane Ungaro and Mamadou Barry.
The Trojans won the Class 4A Championship in 1995, ’98 and ’99 while Dowling won in 2000 and 2001 before starting its five-championship run in 2013.

RUSHING — T. Roberts 9-36, A. White 5-3, O. McAreavy 1-3, A. Geasland 1-2.
PASSING — E. Flitz 18-25-1-218-2.
RECEIVING — T. Buchanan 6-114-2, Geasland 5-38, Roberts 3-25, A. West 1-19-1.
PUNTING — M. Morgan 4-141.
PUNT RETURNS — C. Mabry 1-0, J. Gaudet 1-(-)2.
KICK RETURNS — White 1-10.
TACKLES (SOLO-ASSISTED)— J. Strunk 4-0, C. Fedeler 4-0, Mabry 3-1, L. Green 3-0.