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Trojans shut out the Bulldogs

West High returns to Class 4A championship to face Dowling again
West High’s Trumell Roberts disposes of a marauding Bettendorf Bulldog Friday, Nov. 10, in the UNI-Dome during a Class 4A state semifinal game. Roberts, a senior, produced 108 yards of rushing with one touchdown in 17 attempts in a 23-0 win. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

CEDAR FALLS– The Iowa City West High Trojans will meet the Maroons of West Des Moines Dowling Catholic Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:06 p.m. in the UNI-Dome for the 2017 Class 4A state football championship.
It’s a rematch, and the Maroons prevailed 23-10 in last year’s championship bout.
The Trojan defense held Bettendorf scoreless in a 23-0 semifinal win Friday, Nov. 10, in the UNI-Dome. The win was the second shutout of the season for West High and ended the Bulldogs’ season at 10-2.
Trumell Roberts, a senior, escaped from a pile of bodies to score on a 37-yard run in the first quarter. Lucas Karwal’s extra point kick was blocked, but the Trojans took a 6-0 advantage early in the game.
“Score, score, score, score, score. That’s all I was thinking, I ran my hardest,” Roberts said after the game when asked about his miraculous escape and scramble.
“The coaches just told us to play hard tonight,” Roberts said. “They said if we played hard, there was no doubt we’d win.” So how did he find his way out? “Instincts, I guess.”
Karwal, a senior, nailed a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter for a 9-0 lead at halftime.
Austin West, a senior, narrowly avoided an interception as he grabbed an Evan Flitz pass and scored a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 16-0 with a good kick from Karwal.
Austin Geasland, a senior, scored in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard effort from a Flitz pass. Again, Karwal nailed the extra point and the Trojans held onto their 23-0 lead.
Flitz, a senior, completed 21 of 28 passes for 281 yards. Austin West took four of those passes 94 yards while senior Traevis Buchanan went 72 yards on three receptions.
Flitz had high praise for the defensive crew. “Hats off to those guys on defense,” he said. “They played outstanding. An outstanding game. Just really happy for them. I love those guys, I’m glad they’re on our team. They came out, they prepared.”
The West High effort wasn’t without its hiccups, however. “I thought we were really effective (but) we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times. Costly penalties and too many turnovers,” he said. “We’ve got things to work on going into next week and I’m excited to get those things fixed.”
Roberts led the ground attack with 108 yards on 17 carries.
Caden Fedeler, a senior, led the defense with five solo tackles, with four from junior Landon Green. Fedeler and senior Chris Mott both had solo quarterback sacks to support the Trojan effort.
“We are not the biggest team, but we are fast, and we move,” West Head Football Coach Garrett Hartwig said. “They understand their responsibilities and they never give up on a play. That is the secret to a good defense… one that never gives up on a play.” The Trojans are right where they want to be, but know they’re in for another tough battle in the 13th and final game of the season.
“This is where we expected to be,” Flitz said, “This is where we trained to be, so there’s another week, there’s the championship on the line, but we’re just ready for another week of hard work.”
“Offensively we’ve prepped, we can take what the defense gives us,” Hartwig said. “Bettendorf is a good team. To go out there and play at this level speaks to the level of maturity and preparation for our boys. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, and (we’ve) got one more next week against a very, very good opponent.”
This is West’s 16th playoff appearance, and seventh consecutive. It is also only the fifth time the Trojans are contending for the title. West won the championship in 1995, 1998 and 1998 before settling for runner-up last year.
Dowling rolled over Ankeny Centennial in its semifinal game, 44-7, and enters the championship at 11-1.

PASSING: E. Flitz 21-28-281-1.
RUSHING: Flitz 6-3, O. McAreavy 6-27, T. Roberts 17-108-1.
RECEIVING: T. Buchanan 3-72, D. Doyle 2-9, J. Gaudet 3-35, A. Geasland 4-47-1, Roberts 5-24, A. West 4-94-1.
TACKLES (SOLO, ASSIST, TOTAL): Q. Baker 1-1-1.5, Buchanan 0-1-0.5, K. Burns 0-1-0.5, N. Dill 1-1-1.5, Doyle 1-3-2.5, C. Fedeler 5-10-10.0, L. Green 4-2-5.0, W. Hoeft 1-0-1.0, R. Kadenge 1-0-1.0, C. Mabry 3-5, 5.5. C. Mott, 1-0-1.0. Roberts 1-5-3.5, D. Shephard 1-1-1.5, J. Strunk 0-3-1.5, West 0-2-1.0, A. White 3-1-3.5.
SACKS (SOLO, ASSIST): Baker 0-1, Fedeler 1-1, Mott 1-0, Roberts 0-1, Shephard 0-1.
INTERCEPTIONS: West 1-23, White 1-34.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Fedeler 1, Mabry 1.
PAT KICKS: L. Karwal 2-3.
FIELD GOALS: Karwal 1-1-35.
KICK OFFS: Karwal 5-286-1.
PUNTING: M. Morgan 3-113.
PUNT RETURNS: 2-9