CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Washington’s Mitch Blades was on his game Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
And the Cedar Rapids Jefferson defense couldn’t stop him.
The Warrior quarterback had a brilliant first half, completing 10 of 11 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
He continued his strong play in the second half, using his legs to score a pair of touchdowns, leading Washington to a 34-21 win over its crosstown rival on a chilly night.
Although the victory left Washington at just 2-5, it keeps Coach Tony Lombardi’s team in line for a Class 4A playoff spot with games remaining at home Thursday against Cedar Rapids Prairie and the following Friday at Dubuque Wahlert.
Jefferson falls to 1-6 and was all but eliminated from playoff contention in Coach Brian Webb’s first season.
The Warriors were never able to shake the J-Hawks until midway through the fourth quarter when Blades capped off a long drive and dove in from the 2. Jefferson bobbled the kickoff and were pinned deep in its own territory. Washington’s defense held and forced a punt that was returned to the Jefferson 27. Blades then scampered in from the 5 with just under three minutes remaining to seal the verdict.
Blades wasn’t the only quarterback to shine Friday night. Jefferson’s Layne Sullivan kept many plays alive with his legs and scored all three J-Hawk touchdowns. His 15-yard scamper on the final play of the third quarter tied things up at 21-21 entering the final 12 minutes. Sullivan finished with 188 yards passing, not far behind Blades’ total of 224 yards.
Washington’s Mitch Bredeson had a solid game as well, rushing for 123 yards on 24 carries. Jason Oney, who grabbed both of Blades’ TD tosses in the first half, had four catches for 96 yards.
It doesn’t get any easier for the J-Hawks next week as they travel to play unbeaten Iowa City West.