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J-Hawks get the blues

CEDAR RAPIDS— It was pretty much over at halftime.
To say Iowa City West dominated Cedar Rapids Jefferson Friday night at Kingston Stadium would be an understatement. The Trojans rolled the J-Hawks from the start, scoring on the first possession of the game with a 1-yard run by quarterback Charles Rogers. A Rogers to Dondre Alexander pass followed by a successful two-point play by Anthony Brown gave West a 15-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The J-Hawks made a bid to avoid the shut out and salvage their homecoming game with a touchdown and successful PAT kick with 2:48 left in the quarter. West quickly punished Jefferson as Alexander took the J-Hawk kick-off, setting in motion a five play effort, punctuated by Rogers’ second touchdown of the night. Alex Troester’s kick was good and West took a 22-7 lead into the second quarter.
Jefferson attempted a drive to open the quarter, but West defense shut them down literally in mere seconds– and the Trojans took over on the J-Hawk 48 yard line. Rogers hit Jeremy Morgan for a touchdown with 11:34 left in the half. Again Troester sent the kick right down Main Street and the visitors were up 29-7. Troester’s kick-off was returned to the Jefferson 13 yard line but again the West defense would give up no ground. Jefferson punted on a 4th and 12 situation.
A somber J-Hawk crowd had something to cheer about as Rogers was sacked for a loss of 10 yards, but three plays later, Anthony Brown was standing in the Jefferson end zone with the ball. Rogers tried to carry for a two-point play but was foiled. West moved even further ahead, 35-7 however.
Ezra Reiners repaid in-kind the J-Hawk sack by sacking Jefferson’s Layne Sullivan, and the blue J’s were again skunked in trying to get farther than their own 20 yard line, punting the ball away yet again with a very long 5:15 left in the half. West pummeled the boys in blue as six plays later, Richard Bryant carried the ball in to score. With the Troester kick, Jefferson was down 42-7.
The carnage wasn’t over yet, as Rogers scored on a keeper with 37 seconds left in the half. Troester’s dead-on kick made it 49-7 and the crowd had a continuous clock to look forward to in the second half.
Heading for the locker room at the break, Coach Brian Sauser had a huge grin on his face, shaking his head as he looked at the scoreboard.
West kicked off to start the second half. Anthony Brown administered a second sack, ending the J-Hawk drive prematurely. Xavier May took over for Rogers as quarterback on West’s first possession. Following a pair of stopped carries by Brown, and a pair of incomplete passes, the J-Hawks took the ball back on downs. Their drive lasted one play as Reid Bonner intercepted Sullivan’s pass and hauled it in for a touchdown as the zebras tossed their flags.
The touchdown stood and Troester again fired straight and true through the uprights to further spoil the blue Js’ night, 56-7 with 2:08 left in the period.
Jefferson held the ball as the final 12:00 started. Hunter Nierman sacked Sullivan, but the J-Hawks finally found their way to the endzone again after the second of two tries from the West three-yard line. A good PAT kick made it 56-14 and elements of the Band of Blue played Jefferson’s fight song.
But West wasn’t finished. With 8:38 left in the game, the Trojans drove down the field at will with many reserves seeing playing time. May kept the ball and scored the final insult with 2:41 to go. Troester put the final nail in Jefferson’s coffin and the 63-14 score held.
“We played great defense, which is always good for us,” Brown said after the game of the first half. “Coming out, playing hard, putting a team away fast. It’s all coming together now.”
“Obviously, we’re happy with the outcome” Coach Sauser said, adding that he was happy with “how clean the half was,” pointing to Rogers’ eight perfect passes, good for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Sauser said “It’s been four years and a lot of struggles, and a lot of kids putting in a lot of time and effort. Not that this game meant a whole lot, but it was nice to have a game where we could come out and relax and take care of business. We were running hard. The guys were catching balls. I don’t think we could have played any better on offense.”
Rogers, who is said to be committing to Iowa State University, was all smiles during the second half.
“Going out there felt good,” Rogers said. “I was out there calling plays, reading the defense. I knew where the holes were going to be.” He said the West offensive line was “making holes for everybody.”
The win boosted West to 4-1 while Jefferson fell to 0-5.
The Trojans will face Cedar Rapids Xavier (3-2) at home Friday night, Sept. 30, for Homecoming before returning to Kingston Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 6, to meet Cedar Rapids Kennedy.