IOWA CITY — A.J. Derby put on a show Friday night, and so did top-ranked Iowa City High. Derby, one of the state’s most highly sought recruits, threw for three touchdowns and ran for two as the Little Hawks coasted past No. 3 Cedar Rapids Washington, 65-21, at Bates Field.
Derby completed 8 of 10 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 111 yards on 16 carries.
Derby, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback/linebacker, set the game’s tone with a massive hit on Washington’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Derby popped Washington running back Ronnie Henderson, stripped him of the ball and recovered it on the Warriors’ 35-yard line. Six plays later, Iowa City High running back Ellis Jordan scored on a 2-yard run to give the Little Hawks a 7-0 lead.
After forcing a Washington punt, Iowa City High used a trick play with improvisation from Derby to take a 14-0 lead. Derby handed off, and then got the ball back on a flea flicker. He rolled to his right and launched a 50-yard pass off his back foot toward a streaking John Chelf up the right sideline. Henderson, a Washington cornerback, interfered with Chelf, but the Iowa City High senior made the catch and ran into the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown.
Washington rallied on its next three possessions and scored touchdowns to keep pace with Iowa City High. Washington quarterback Shay Gutman scored on runs of 60 and 13 yards, and Alex Carr burst in from 3 yards out for the Warriors’ other score.
Video from KCRG-TV9
But City High was too explosive offensively.
After Washington closed the gap to 27-21, Derby passed 16 yards to running back Nick Reuter for a touchdown, followed by an Ellis Jordan 2-point conversion. A bad snap on a Washington punt sent the ball into the end zone for a safety to give the Little Hawks a 37-21 lead.
City High then closed the scoring with a 10-yard strike from Derby to Alex Evans to take a 44-21 lead. Derby connected with Chelf one more time late in the third quarter. Derby was outside the pocket and heaved a 40-yard pass toward Chelf, who caught the ball past defender Colin Thorson near the Washington 40. Chelf then sprinted up the sideline for an 80-yard score.
The teams exchanged in a massive first-half scoring barrage, totaling 65 points by halftime. The teams combined for 44 points in the second quarter alone.
Gutman finished with 112 yards rushing. Jordan ran for 178 yards