IOWA CITY — Xavier Washpun is going to carry the ball. A lot.
So far, that hasn’t helped defenses stop him.
Washpun rushed 22 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns as the Little Hawks rolled to a 35-10 win over short-handed Cedar Rapids Jefferson last night in a Mississippi Valley Conference football game at Bates Field.
City (3-1) took an early lead with Washpun’s 42-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The senior showed off his excellent vision in the third quarter on his best run of the night — Washpun went to the right, completely stopped,and then cut back the left for a 33-yard gain.
“It’s all feeling,” Washpun said. “I feel pressure on one side, so I cut back another way and it just opens up. I break tackles and keep running my feet.”
Jefferson (0-4) lined up a handful of first-time starters after 20 players — half the team — missed practice time this week with concussions, injuries or illness.
Top running back Michael Moncivais didn’t play. He’s expected to return next Friday against Waterloo East. Still, the J-Hawks outgained City in first downs and offensive yards in the first half.
“We should not hang our heads at all,” Jefferson Coach Brian Webb said. “Today we had a lot of kids grow up. I was really proud of their effort. I have nothing bad to say.”
The Little Hawks are a one-point loss in the opener against Cedar Falls away from a 4-0 start.
City coach Dan Sabers’ defense and Washpun are two big reasons why.
Jefferson racked up 205 yards in the first half, but only put up a field goal just before halftime. In the first quarter, the Little Hawks recovered a fumble and stopped the J-Hawks on downs after three tries from inside the 3.
Washpun averaged just more than 10 yards per carry. The senior’s runs accounted for nine of the Little Hawks’ 16 first downs.
“A back like that just makes you look good,” Sabers said.