CEDAR RAPIDS – He was taken aback some by the question. Perhaps he honestly doesn’t know.
He definitely doesn’t want to tip any opponent off.
So, Duane Schulte, how would you go about attacking your defense? How would you try and score points against it?
“That’s a great question,” the Cedar Rapids Xavier head coach said after his team’s 24-0 smackdown of Cedar Rapids Kennedy before 6,000 fans Friday night at Kingston Stadium. “I don’t know if I can answer that one. They’ve been scored upon. It’s been done. Just trying to stay humble and get better.”
What a scary thought it is to think they can get better after posting a fourth consecutive shutout, a third straight shutout of Kennedy.
“We can get a lot better than this,” insisted defensive end Matt Nelson. “Just in effort and everything like that. Coverages, reading plays, all that stuff.”
You wondered how Kennedy’s run-dominated Stacked-I formation would fare, and the final numbers told you everything you needed to know. In short, not well.
Kennedy (3-2) was held to four first downs and 74 total yards, 56 on the ground. The Cougars never crossed into Xavier territory until the third quarter, and that came only because lineman Killian Magee picked up a fumble by Saints quarterback Quinton Scholer and returned it to the 46.
A pass-interference penalty took the football to the Xavier 31, but quarterback Derek Jacobus was stopped a yard short of first down on a 4th-and-8 scramble to end Kennedy’s only chance at scoring.
“Everybody that came back from last year (nine starters), that helps with the overall experience,” said defensive lineman Daniel Vega. “We’ve all grown up together, known each other since kindergarten. That definitely helps. (Four straight shutouts) is pretty awesome. Hopefully we can make it five next week.”
Cedar Rapids Washington gets the unenviable task of facing probably the state’s best defense next week. The Warriors will have to contend with a Saints offense that moved the football well at times against Kennedy.
Brendan Miller ran for 154 yards on 28 carries, including a 24-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Scholer ran for a score and threw for one, a 29-yarder to tight end Matt Nelson that got the scoring started late in the first quarter.
Ryan Persick added a 29-yard field goal. Kennedy forced a pair of Xavier turnovers and generally played a very stout game.
But this is a 5-0 Saints team that doesn’t need to score a lot of points to win games. Over the last month, they’ve only needed to score … well, one.
“The thing they are doing this year that is causing teams fits is that they are never still (defensively),” said Kennedy Coach Tim Lewis. “They have four linemen sometimes, sometimes they don’t have any. You can get caught like that sometimes, but they have the athletes to overcome it if that happens.”
“It all starts with our coaches,” Schulte said. “The kids buy in. That’s the thing. They don’t have the egos, don’t worry about being a ‘me’ guy. They just buy into what the coaches try and tell them. Do their job. That’s what makes this group so (good).”
Here is the game boxscore:
CR Xavier 24, CR Kennedy 0
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
|TEAM STATISTICS||CR Xavier||CR Kennedy|
|Rushes-yards||44 - 205||28 - 56|
|Comp-Att-Int||9 - 12 - 0||2 - 13 - 0|
|Fumbles-lost||2 - 2||0 - 0|
|Punts-average||4 - 40.3||10 - 36.7|
|Penalties-yards||7 - 75||6 - 48|
Rushing: CR Xavier – Brendan Miller 28-154 , Quinton Scholer 11-56 , Jay Kortemeyer 3-1 , Team 2--4 CR Kennedy – Miles Moa 17-39 , Derek Jacobus 4-14 , Logan Wedo 4-2 , Terrance Hall 3-1
Passing: CR Xavier – Quinton Scholer 9-12-0-99 CR Kennedy – Derek Jacobus 2-13-0-18
Receiving: CR Xavier – Frank Hill 4-44 , Matt Nelson 1-29 , Bryce Grimm 2-13 , Brendan Miller 1-11 , Jay Kortemeyer 1-2 CR Kennedy –
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CRX-Matt Nelson 29 pass from Quinton Scholer (Ryan Persick kick)
CRX-Persick 29 FG
CRX-Brendan Miller 24 run (Persick kick)
CRX-Scholer 2 run (Persick kick)