CEDAR RAPIDS – If Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s football program is going to make any major strides, it’s going to have to learn to win games on its own field. It can start with winning just one.
Matt Zenner ran for 272 yards and two touchdowns as Dubuque Hempstead gave Jefferson yet another loss at Kingston Stadium, 21-12, Friday night.
The J-Hawks have not won a game here since October 2008, against Linn-Mar. Friday made it 24 consecutive losses at the unfriendly Kingston confines.
“It starts tomorrow, early in the morning. Everyone is going to be there,” said Jefferson lineman Josh Allen. “We just have to come together as a family. It’s about execution every day in practice. There are going to be a lot of changes in practice for us. Everyone has to be in this 100 percent. No plays off. This is Kingston Stadium, this is where it matters the most.”
Zenner put this game away with a 68-yard touchdown run off the right side on third down with two minutes to go and Jefferson selling out for a needed defensive stop. He finished with 30 carries, helping Hempstead avenge a home loss last season that ended an overall 24-game Jefferson losing streak.
This was back-to-back wins for Hempstead (2-1), which went 0-9 last season but throttled Dubuque Wahlert last week.
“Yeah, we did talk about that,” Zenner said, when asked if his team discussed last year’s loss to Jeff. “But I just think the whole last year, not winning a game, was big motivation for us pretty much. Not having a single win last season, then winning last week, having that feeling, and winning this game will really help us out.”
Jefferson trailed late, 14-6, but got a huge interception from Brandon Wiederin (his second of the game) that set it up at the Hempstead 38. A 25-yard drag pass pattern from quarterback Layne Sullivan to Benjamin Koering converted a fourth down that took the ball to the Mustangs 8.
On third-and-goal, Sullivan received a shotgun snap and rambled over right guard for the 3-yard touchdown. His two-point attempt on an identical play came up a yard short.
“It’s been the same story for us the last year and a half,” said Jefferson Coach Brian Webb. “Failed execution, penalties, turnovers. I don’t know what more we have to do to convince those kids the importance of those areas of the game.”
Jefferson left several points on the field, settling for a pair of Nicholas Rocha field goals in the first half after having first-and-goal. It had an 80-yard touchdown run by Sullivan in the third quarter called back by a holding penalty.
The J-Hawks took the opening kickoff and drove to the Hempstead 19, only to have Koering fumble the football away after a 6-yard gain. So many chances, so few points from them.
“It’s attention to detail and discipline,” Webb said. “Discipline is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. So listen to your coaches when they talk about discipline. It’s not just what you do on Fridays, it’s how you live your life. And you practice with attention to detail.”
The first of Wiederin interceptions stymied a Hempstead drive, then back Michael Moncivais broke loose from a pack of players in the middle of the line for a 63-yard run that gave Jeff a 1st-and-goal at the Mustangs 10. But three runs by Sullivan netted only six yards, and Rocha was forced to come on for a 21-yard field goal late in the first quarter that provided the game’s first points.
Zenner played tit for tat on the next possession, breaking free for a 65-yard run that set up fullback Carter Daack’s 2-yard TD run, giving Hempstead a 7-3 lead with 15.3 seconds remaining in the first.
Jefferson again had a first-and-goal after Koering ran a double-handoff 68 yards late in the second quarter. But again the J-Hawks couldn’t get the touchdown, a holding penalty key in the missed opportunity.
Rocha came on for a 28-yard field goal that made it a 7-6 game at halftime.
Moncivais had 135 yards rushing for Jefferson, though he was forced out of the game late after taking a hit that appeared to make him extremely woozy. With Zenner’s huge game, Hempstead had 348 rushing yards.
“Matt Zenner is a great player,” said Hempstead Coach Bob McIntyre. “We felt we could run the ball, wear them down some. Absolutely, that was the plan.”
Here is the game boxscore:
Dbq. Hemp. 21, CR Jeff. 12
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
|TEAM STATISTICS||Dbq. Hemp.||CR Jeff.|
|Rushes-yards||46 - 348||36 - 232|
|Comp-Att-Int||7 - 15 - 2||12 - 21 - 0|
|Fumbles-lost||1 - 0||3 - 2|
|Punts-average||5 - 42.6||5 - 40.0|
|Penalties-yards||12 - 100||5 - 45|
Rushing: Dbq. Hemp. – Matt Zenner 30-272 , Carter Daack 6-43 , Mitchel Hammel 1-20 , Bailey Paulsen 7-10 , Adam Clendenen 1-5 CR Jeff. – Michael Moncivais 13-135 , Benjamin Koering 3-78 , Layne Sullivan 14-25 , Bryce Lund 2-3 , Dakota Tomkins 1-1 , Cameron Frazier 1--1 , Team 2--6
Passing: Dbq. Hemp. – Bailey Paulsen 7-15-2-42 CR Jeff. – Layne Sullivan 12-21-0-138
Receiving: Dbq. Hemp. – Matt Zenner 2-14 , Jacob Hodge 2-14 , Chase Bushaw 2-8 , Mitchel Hammel 1-6 CR Jeff. – Benjamin Koering 3-59 , Bryce Lund 2-35 , Brandon Wiederin 2-22 , Michael Moncivais 2-18 , Cameron Frazier 3-4
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CRJ-Nicholas Rocha 21 FG
DH-Carter Daack 2 run (Christopher Francis kick)
CRJ-Rocha 28 FG
DH-Matt Zenner 22 run (Francis kick)
CRJ-Layne Sullivan 3 run (run failed)
DH-Zenner 68 run (Francis kick)