CEDAR RAPIDS – It wasn’t pretty, but Cedar Rapids Washington found a way to back up its monumental upset of Cedar Rapids Xavier last week with a win against Cedar Rapids Jefferson last night at Kingston Stadium.
The Warriors (4-3, 3-1 MVC Valley) overcame a sluggish start to the game and notched their fourth straight win, beating their crosstown rival J-Hawks (1-6, 1-3 MVC Mississippi), 14-7.
“We challenged our kids at halftime, and they responded, both on offense and on defense,” said Washington Coach Paul James. “Hopefully this will give us confidence we can carry on through (the rest of the season).”
James said after the game he didn’t expect his team to suffer from a hangover after the upset of Xavier one week ago, but Jefferson’s opening drive suggested otherwise.
The J-Hawks chewed up the first 7:01 of game time, going 80 yards in 17 plays, capped off by a five-yard touchdown run from quarterback Layne Sullivan. The Warriors followed that up with a three-and-out series, allowing Jefferson to keep momentum in their favor.
But over the next quarter-plus, the Washington defense settled in and started to disrupt Sullivan’s progress on the ground. The Warriors then finished off the first half with a methodical touchdown drive of its own, with quarterback Reid Snitker plunging in from one yard out.
“The two drives – the one that ended the first half and started the second half – that was basically the game,” James said.
Those two drives, as James said, ultimately turned out to be the winning points for Washington. The second drive, once again finished off by Snitker from one yard away, was almost a mirror of Jefferson’s opener. The Warriors went 67 yards in 14 plays and used up 6:35.
The second half, though, truly belonged to Washington’s defense.
The J-Hawks offense was held to five total yards in the second half – minus-4 yards rushing – in only 21 plays. Sullivan, who was the only J-Hawk with a carry in the second half, had 18 carries for 67 yards in the first half and finished with 26 carries for 63 yards.
“Our defense played lights out the second half,” James said. “And we didn’t change anything except our mindset. So you’ve got to give the kids credit, the way they responded on both sides of the ball in the second half. We played more like we think they’re capable of playing.”
Snitker, who was 16 of 26 for 127 yards and two interceptions through the air, and had 14 carries for 60 yards and two scores on the ground, said he played far from his best game of the season.
He echoed his coach in saying he didn’t think the team would come out slow, but was happy they were able to overcome whatever was holding them back in the first half.
To be able to play poorly and win, he said, bodes well for the Warriors going forward.
“I didn’t think there was going to be (a hangover), but it seemed like (there was),” Snitker said. “It feels good knowing I didn’t play near as good as I could’ve and we still got the W. So I know that if I can just play better than that, we can be a pretty good team.”
Though the win last night – Washington’s 12th straight over Jefferson – didn’t further Washington’s efforts in its division, it does still mean the Warriors have a shot at an unexpected MVC title.
Being able to control their own destiny, James said, is important, and should mean something to the kids.
“We’re playing for a conference championship. We’re in the driver’s seat, we control our own destiny,” James said. “So hopefully that means a lot to these players. We need to win our next game if it’s going to happen.”
CR Wash. 14, CR Jeff. 7
AT CR Washington
|TEAM STATISTICS||CR Jeff.||CR Wash.|
|Rushes-yards||37 - 105||39 - 101|
|Comp-Att-Int||6 - 15 - 0||16 - 16 - 2|
|Fumbles-lost||0 - 0||3 - 0|
|Punts-average||4 - 28.0||2 - 29.0|
|Penalties-yards||8 - 67||8 - 75|
Rushing: CR Jeff. – Layne Sullivan 26-63 , Michael Moncivais 3-9 , Benjamin Koering 1-0 , Bryce Lund 3-23 , Cameron Frazier 2-8 , Kevonte Jones 2-2 CR Wash. – Reid Snitker 14-60 , Mason Taylor 12-13 , Connor Vincent 4-16 , Johnny Dobbs 9-12
Passing: CR Jeff. – Layne Sullivan 6-15-0-27 CR Wash. – Reid Snitker 16-26-2-127
Receiving: CR Jeff. – Benjamin Koering - , Michael Moncivais 2-15 CR Wash. – Landen Akers 3-43 , Clayton Bjornsen 4-32 , Isaiah Nimmers 5-43 , Jacob Bjornsen 3-35 , Johnny Dobbs 1-4 , -
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CRJ - 4:59, Layne Sullivan run, 5 yards. XP good.
CRW - 0:05, Reid Snitker run, 1 yard. Gunnar Lenzen XP no good
CRW - 5:25, Reid Snitker run, 1 yard. 2XP Snitker pass to Clayton Bjornsen good.