CEDAR RAPIDS – The offensive play distribution Wednesday night for the Cedar Falls Tigers was 98.6 percent runs and 1.4 percent passes.
You know what? It was 100 percent effective.
The Tigers took ground and pound to another level in a 27-10 win over Cedar Rapids Washington in a Class 4A playoff opener at Kingston Stadium. Vince Lombardi would have watched this game and just smiled.
“We wanted to get control of that line of scrimmage,” said CF Co-Coach Pat Mitchell. “For the most part, I thought we did on both sides: offense and defense.”
In a day and age of nothing but high-flying spread offenses, this was a throwback approach, for sure.
“Tonight, with the weather conditions and everything, our plan was just to run the football,” said Cedar Falls tailback Eli Berregard. “Just run it down their throats. We did that.”
Berregard had all three of his team’s touchdowns and a 42-yard field goal. Cedar Falls (7-3) ran 69 offensive plays, 68 of them rushes. The only pass attempt by quarterback Trey Hansen was intercepted by Wash’s Jacob Bjornsen.
“We knew they were going to come out and try and punch us in the mouth,” Bjornsen said. “We came out slow, and they capitalized. What can you do? Credit to them for playing a good game.”
The Tigers ran most plays from an unbalanced line, with 295-pound Alabama recruit Ross Pierschbacher at right tackle and 275-pound Gabe Clark next to him. That helped produce a series of runs of four to five yards that Washington (6-4) could never consistently stop.
“They’d shown that set,” said Washington Coach Paul James. “It’s basically unbalanced, but they put the two big tackles together. We didn’t have an answer for that.”
Wash QB Reid Snitker was so good this season but had a poor second quarter with a fumble and two interceptions on consecutive series. CF scored 17 points off those turnovers for a 20-3 halftime lead.
Snitker still accounted for 223 of his team’s 235 yards, throwing a 74-yard touchdown pass to Landen Akers in the final minute.
“I just made a couple of stupid mistakes,” Snitker said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Despite the loss, this was a highly successful season for a Washington club that lost its coach last spring and its first three games this fall before rallying for six wins in a row to end the regular season. Several were of the last-second, dramatic variety.
Snitker and Akers are just two of several juniors that played key roles and will return in 2014. Washington’s freshmen and sophomore teams finished undefeated.
“We’ll take a couple of days to dwell on this, then we’ll get right back at it,” Snitker said.
“This is a young and very talented group of guys,” Bjornsen said. “I think they’ve got a bright future.”
James also seemed excited about the direction of his program, yet shed some tears when talking about his senior class.
“I feel bad for them,” he said. “We didn’t have enough for them at the end. What they went through … I can’t remember how many wins they had, whether it was zero or one as freshmen and a couple, maybe, as sophomores. For everybody, this was a fun season.”
Here is the game boxscore and a short video interview with Snitker:
Cedar Falls 27, CR Wash. 10
AT AT KINGSTON STADIUM
|TEAM STATISTICS||Cedar Falls||CR Wash.|
|Rushes-yards||68 - 285||26 - 58|
|Comp-Att-Int||0 - 1 - 1||11 - 22 - 2|
|Fumbles-lost||1 - 0||2 - 1|
|Punts-average||3 - 38.7||3 - 39.9|
|Penalties-yards||2 - 20||5 - 30|
Rushing: Cedar Falls – Eli Berregaard 32-138 , Ben Fienup 13-54 , Denison Harrington 12-74 , Trey Hansen 7-19 , Durrell Jackson 2-4 , Team 2--4 CR Wash. – Reid Snitker 16-46 , Johnny Dobbs 5-12 , Mason Taylor 3-2 , Caleb Smothers 1-2 , -
Passing: Cedar Falls – Trey Hansen 0-1-1-0 CR Wash. – Reid Snitker 11-22-2-177
Receiving: Cedar Falls – CR Wash. – Landen Akers 3-95 , Isaiah Nimmers 5-58 , Clayton Bjornsen 2-19 , Johnny Dobbs 1-5
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CF-Eli Berregaard 13 run (Caleb Iehl)
CRW-Gunner Lenzen 31 FG
CF-Iehl 27 FG
CF-Berregaard 8 run (Iehl kick)
CF-Berregaard 42 FG
CF-Berregaard 3 run (Iehl kick)
CRW-Landen Akers 74 pass from Reid Snitker (Lenzen kick)