CEDAR RAPIDS — Paul James assembled his jubilant team near the sideline, paused … and bellowed the simple question:
“How are we feeling now?!?”
Reid Snitker ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns, and Cedar Rapids Washington gave James his first win in his second stint as head coach, 26-21, over Linn-Mar in an MVC Valley Division football game Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
So, Warriors, how ARE we feeling now?
“In a way, like we got a monkey off our backs,” James said. “We’d been close in a couple games, but we didn’t finish. Tonight, we did what we had to do to get a victory.”
Namely, the Warriors (1-3 overall, 1-1 division) ran the ball. More specifically, Snitker ran the ball.
The quarterback netted 163 of the Warriors’ 328 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 58 and 15 yards as Washington broke a 14-14 halftime tie.
“We ran that read option the first time, and it worked,” Snitker said. “In the second half, I thought they would adjust, but they didn’t. All I had to do was follow my blockers.”
It took all of two plays, 70 yards and 44 seconds for the Warriors to take control in the second half. After Snitker hit Clayton Bjornsen for 12 yards, he kept the ball around right end and outran all pursuers.
The Warriors missed the PAT try, but had a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Washington was still nursing a 20-14 lead when it forced a fumble from Lions quarterback Ryan Schmidt around midfield. Michael Eken advanced the ball to the Linn-Mar 30, and a personal foul moved the ball to the 15.
Snitker scored on the next play on another keeper to make it 26-14.
Linn-Mar (1-3, 1-1) got within 26-21 on a 79-yard bomb from Schmidt to Griffin Brennecke with 5:28 left in the game, and reclaimed possession at its 29 with 2:34 left. But the Lions could do nothing with it, and Washington ran out the final 1:32.
“Washington just played harder than we did,” said Lions Coach Bob Forsyth. “That’s the reality and the truth of it. They came to play, and we didn’t get it done.”
Mason Taylor added 93 yards for the Warriors, who posted a 394-257 advantage in yards.
Schmidt passed for 176 yards for Linn-Mar.
The Lions got on the board first with a 5-yard touchdown run by Ross Lembeck. Washington got TDs from Johnny Dobbs (8-yard run) and Landen Akers (47-yard pass from Snitker).
Schmidt’s 6-yard run with 3:05 left in the half got Linn-Mar even.
The Warriors have a Thursday-night Kingston game next week against Waterloo West; Linn-Mar is at Cedar Falls on Friday.
CR Wash. 26, Linn-Mar 21
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
|TEAM STATISTICS||Linn-Mar||CR Wash.|
|Rushes-yards||41 - 81||49 - 328|
|Comp-Att-Int||8 - 17 - 0||5 - 11 - 2|
|Fumbles-lost||2 - 2||1 - 0|
|Punts-average||8 - 30.3||5 - 30.2|
|Penalties-yards||8 - 80||8 - 74|
Rushing: Linn-Mar – Ross Lembeck 23-59 , Ryan Schmidt 15-22 , Jason Ohlin 3-0 CR Wash. – Reid Snitker 19-163 , Mason Taylor 12-93 , Johnny Dobbs 12-39 , Jacob Bjornsen 2-13 , Connor Vincent 2-12 , Caleb Smothers 2-8
Passing: Linn-Mar – Schmidt 8-16-0-176 CR Wash. – Snitker 5-11-2-66
Receiving: Linn-Mar – Lembeck 3-44 , Griffin Brennecke 2-88 , Andrew Gassmann 1-18 , Trevor Noble 1-18 , Davis Cosgrove 1-8 CR Wash. – Clayton Bjornsen 2-12 , Landen Akers 1-47 , Isaiah Nimmers 1-5 , Vincent 1-2
SCORE BY QUARTERS
LM - Ross Lembeck 5 run (Austin Wolter kick)
CRW - Johnny Dobbs 8 run (Joseph Lenzen kick)
CRW - Landen Akers 47 pass from Reid Snitker (Lenzen kick)
LM - Ryan Schmidt 6 run (Wolter kick)
CRW - Snitker 58 run (kick failed)
CRW - Snitker 15 run (pass failed)
LM - Griffin Brennecke 79 pass from Schmidt (Wolter kick)