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Posted October 4, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: Rituals pay off for unbeaten Saints

Xavier's Wes Gardner runs through a hole against Kennedy recently. (Meghan Gerke photo/Xavier senior)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Shannon Mulcahey, Xavier senior

CEDAR RAPIDS – A quick sign of the cross, a subtle tap on the side of a cleat and a swift brush across the face are some rituals players may perform when their team is about to take the field.

The Class 4A Xavier Saints football team has a routine they have been sticking to for many years.

Brendan Miller runs for yardage. (Meghan Gerke photo/Xavier senior)

“Before every game, we try to keep the same routine going that has been around for about 16 years,” Coach Duane Schulte said. “We are doing the same warm-up drills in the same order and we pray the rosary before games.”

Xavier faced Dubuque Wahlert on Sept. 20 at Loras College. The Saints shutout the Golden Eagles, 38-0. Senior quarterback Quinton Scholer threw three touchdown passes in the first half  - to seniors Wes Gardner and Frank Hill and junior Joe Welch.

Adding to the success, the Saints sacked Wahlert’s quarterback five times and had 21 more first down then their opponent.

“We are trying to improve on everything, not just defensive and offense,” Schulte said. “We want to get better in every aspect from drills and practices to games.”

The Saints played Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Kingston Stadium on Sept. 27 and picked up their third straight shutout, winning 24-0. Senior tailback Brendan Miller carried the ball for a total of 150 yards on 27 rushes. Scholer threw 8 of 12 passes for 92 total yards.

Xavier has allowed only seven points this season and has shutout four of five teams, improving their record to 5-0.

Tonight’s homecoming against the Cedar Rapids Washington will start at 5 p.m.

Xavier quarterback Quinton Scholer takes off. (Meghan Gerke photo/Xavier senior)

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