IOWA CITY– Just before the West High Trojans took the field Friday night, the cheerleaders stretched a banner across their path reading “we’re staying unbeaten.”
The Trojans not only blasted through the banner, they made good on the statement, wrecking visiting Dubuque Senior’s vision of a perfect season with a 42-7 stomping.
West moved to a perfect 5-0 (and the top of the MVC Mississippi Division) while the Rams moved to 4-1.
The game could’ve been called “The Ezra Reiners Show,” as the senior put up three touchdowns and led the ground war with 159 yards of rushing.
The Trojans pitched a shut-out in the first half and held a comfy 28-0 lead at the half.
Micah Kelsay put the Trojans on the board with a five-yard score, putting the exclamation point on West’s first possession. Mueng Sunday kicked the ball through the uprights for the extra point and the Trojans had a 7-0 lead with 9:11 left in the first quarter.
A faked punt later in the quarter led to Jessie Peterson flying 53 yards downfield and putting West in scoring position. Again Kelsay took the ball to the end zone, this time on a one-yard run and the Trojans were up 14-0 with Sunday’s kick.
Reiners made a 58-yard run in the second quarter to score, with Sunday again nailing the extra point and putting West up 21-0 with just over four minutes left in the half. Reiners scored again in final seconds of the half with a five-yard run. Sunday’s kick gave the Trojans a 28-0 lead at the break.
A 28-yard touchdown run by Reiners in the third quarter, with Sunday’s kick, gave West the 35-0 lead and activated the continuous clock.
The Rams finally found the end zone in the fourth on a courtesy touchdown with just under five minutes left in the game. The Trojans weren’t finished though, they still had one more touchdown to score, and Clay Moel was the man to do it, scoring with about a minute to go on a 36-yard run. Again Sunday sent the ball right down right down the middle, and West had the 42-7 win.
With Jeremy Morgan on the sideline, still feeling the effects of the previous week’s battle against Cedar Rapids Prairie, and receivers like Dondre Alexander also still a little banged-up, West coach Brian Sauser elected to go with a ground war. The massive yardage racked up against Prairie gave him confidence with the move, and his offensive line rose to the challenge.
“We’re feeling better and better about the running game. I am extremely pleased with our offensive line,” Sauser said after the game, adding they made Reiners’ job easier. Reiners was singled-out for praise by Sauser, who said, “pound for pound, he’s our toughest guy. He’s tough to bring down, it pretty much takes a convoy to do it.” The coach added the senior has “great vision, he sees blocks before they happen, that’s what makes a great running back.”
Reiners’ yardage came on 15 carries. Peterson had one carry for 53 yards, Devin Raffensperger made 10 for 46, Moel had one for 35, Kelsay made eight for 46 yards and quarterback Nate Boland kept the ball twice for 13 yards. Boland threw a dozen completions for 119 yards; Xavier May threw once for 7 yards. Alexander caught six passes for 66 yards; Reid Bonner had five for 49.
The Trojans travel to Dubuque Hempstead (0-5) Friday night before returning for the Battle of the Boot with rival City High.