By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– For the seventh year in a row, the City High Little Hawks kept possession of “The Boot,” a traveling trophy in the decade’s long cross-town rivalry between Iowa City’s City High and West High schools.
The Little Hawks soared to a 42-24 win, easily handling the Trojans.
“You’ve got to give them all the credit in the world,” West coach Brian Sauser said after the game. “They come out, they take it to you. They know you know what they’re gonna do, and they do it, and they do it well.”
City wasted no time doing just that to West, scoring on their first possession following a stalled West effort. The PAT kick made it 7-0. The Trojans caught a break toward the end of the first quarter, blocking a City High punt and taking the ball over around City’s 13 yard line. The end zone was out of reach and the Trojans settled for a field goal attempt. However, Alex Troester’s kick missed its mark. The Little Hawks closed out the period with a two-play drive for their second TD, bought with a 42-yard carry by City’s standout Ronald Thompson. Thompson would go on to set a new school record with over 360 yards of rushing in the effort.
Down 14-0, the second quarter opened disastrously for West as their opening drive ended in just two plays due to a fumble. City recovered and capitalized on the Trojan mistake and put up seven more points.
The Trojans avoided the shut-out with 2:59 remaining in the half when Troester nailed a 29-yard field goal attempt. The Little Hawks promptly punished West for the score with another three-play drive for another touchdown. Included in the package was a 70-plus yard run by the pesky Thompson.
Down 28-3, West tried to score in the final 1:31 of the half and made it to the six-yard line. Another fumble and City recovery doomed the drive. The Hawks took over on their own seven yard line with 17.2 seconds remaining. Quarterback Jasper Washington took the snap, and then took a knee ending the half.
The Trojans opened up the third quarter by kicking-off to City, and three minutes later, watched the Little Hawks score yet again for a 35-3 deficit.
West then put together a drive, which ultimately died on City’s 24 yard line. Trojan defense gelled and stopped City this time, and a blocked punt recovered by the Trojans and opened the door for a quarterback keeper by Rogers. His 10-yard run gave West their first touchdown, and Troester’s kick made it a 35-10 ballgame. With 2:55 left in the period, Rogers ran the ball in again, this time for a six-yard effort. Again a kick blocked by West set the table.
The Trojans opened the fourth quarter down 35-17 and had their first drive go three and out, handicapped by two incomplete passes and a scramble that only bought two yards. City took over the ball with 11:26 remaining in the ballgame and started a long clock-burning campaign, which was capped-off by a 15-yard run good for another touchdown. With the successful PAT kick, City was comfortably ahead 42-17 with 4:03 left to go.
Though down, the Trojans rallied for one last drive, and with 25.5 seconds remaining, Richard Bryant lunged into the end zone on a one-yard run to score. The drive started with a bad snap by City which was recovered by West and gave the Trojans a first and goal situation. Bryant and the Trojans are still reeling from the death of his brother in a Coralville house fire earlier this month, the second death to claim a West student in the past two months.
“We moved the ball up and down the field,” Coach Sauser said of his Trojans’ performance, “but those are just yards, and yards don’t mean a darn thing if you don’t punch it into the end zone.”
West dropped to 2-3 in the MVC Valley Division, and faces Cedar Rapids Prairie (0-3) at home Friday, Sept. 16.