CEDAR RAPIDS – The Burlington High School football team couldn’t have asked for a better start to their first playoff game in nine years.
The Grayhounds took the opening kickoff and covered 93 yards in just six games, with senior running back Bryant Williams covering the final 65 yards to give the Grayhounds the lead.
From that point on, it was all Cedar Rapids Xavier.
The second-seeded Saints scored on their first six possessions and seven of their eight possessions in the game and earned a 45-8 victory over Burlington in a Class 4A first-round playoff game on Friday night at Saints Field.
Xavier (9-1) qualifies for the quarter-finals to face Webster City (8-2) at 7 p.m. on November 5 at Saints Field.
Burlington, ninth in the standings, ends the season with a 7-3 record, its first winning season since 2008.
The Grayhounds got off to a quick start, but were simply exhausted by a much larger Xavier team.
“It was a great way out of the gate,” said BHS head coach Jim Krekel. “We talked about the fact that there was a big wind tonight. They had the wind at their backs kicking us. I thought, ‘Man, at the very least we were hoping to bring the ball. in the middle of the field so that we can hit something in the wind if we have to hit it. “But there you go, we came out of the gate right under rocket fire. It was fun.”
Senior quarterback Kanyae Baker went wild for an 11-yard gain in the Grayhounds’ first scrum play. Williams was stopped for a gain of one yard, Nolan Simpson picked up four yards, then Williams had points eight and four.
Williams then transferred to the middle, cut to his right and passed the Saints defense for a 65-yard run. He also scored on the two-point conversion.
With just 2 minutes and 52 seconds left, BHS had an 8-0 lead.
“They have a ranking for a reason,” Krekel said of Xavier. “They have a high RPI for a reason. They and North Scott are both great teams. For our kids to come out and come face to face, the best was the best and the fresh was the fresh, and we have it. taken on the field. It was a beautiful thing to watch. “
“We knew after that we had to come back stronger to stop him,” said Xavier junior linebacker Jevin Rexroth, son of former West Burlington star Jason Rexroth and grandson of Tom and Sharon. Rexroth of West Burlington. “We had to wrap up. He’s sneaky. We had to get to him.
Stopping Xavier has proven to be nearly impossible for the Greyhounds.
It only took the Saints five plays and 2:20 to cover 57 yards and get closer to 8-7.
Xavier took the lead for good at the start of the second quarter.
BHS had its chances, but failed every time.
• The Grayhounds headed for Xavier 39 at the end of the first quarter, but missed a fourth and five play.
• A 25-yard run by Simpson and a 31-yard pass from Baker to Alex Fawcett put the ball to Xavier Seven with a second left in the first half. Krekel attempted a reverse pass, but Fawcett’s shot was intercepted in the end zone by Aidan McDermott.
* BHS made it to Xavier 33 midway through the third quarter, but was stopped on a fourth and four.
• Early in the fourth quarter, a 28-yard rush by Williams helped BHS reach the Saints’ 22, but the Grayhounds were once again gutted on the fourth down.
“There were a few practices that stalled and I wish we could have taken it further,” Krekel said. “At the end of the half, if we had had 30 more seconds or this ball would have been fourth and -five, we would have had a lot more options to choose from. But it still shows courage and combat. of a team doing everything they could to put themselves in a position to stay in the game.
Fittingly, Williams had the last postponement of the night, a 20-yard run to end the game. He finished the night with 202 rushing yards on 28 carries. He finished the season with 2,227 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns.
“He’s a good runner. This is the best we have seen all year round. He’s really good, ”Rexroth said.
“That one race he did tonight zigzagging… it looks like he’s going 100 yards just to make it 20. But that’s Bryant Williams,” Krekel said. “We watched that. Almost every game we’ve seen has gone like this. Only he can do something like that. You can’t replace Bryant Williams or replace his senior teammates. They are all unique in their own way. I will really miss them. The coaching staff will too. The same goes for their junior friends and sophomores who play with them. They will be sorely missed. “
Krekel spent extra time in the locker room after the game to say goodbye to 13 seniors who have made the season a season no one will soon forget.
“I’m going to miss all the seniors we have. I told them how special they were to our school, to our city and to the elders, ”Krekel said.“ These guys understand the culture we want. I think this team has moved beyond the culture of how we want to come down and practice and how we want to play football. I think everyone understands that now. It’s just a matter of passing the torch. There are a lot of Wygramys left in this program on the road. “
First stockings. 18. 15
Rush-yards 52-315. 37-291
Passing yards 42. 20
Comp-Att-Int. 4-6-1. 2-3-0
Total offense. 357. 311
Fumbles-lost. 1-0. 1-0
Flat-medium. .2-19.0. 1-37.0
Penalties-yards. 6-55. 2-30
Effectiveness of the 3rd descent. 7-12. 1-3
4th efficiency down. 0-4. 0-0
Possession time. 25:48. 22:12
Burlington 8 0 0 0 – 8
Xavier 7 17 14 7 – 45
BHS—Bryant Williams Race 65 (Williams Race)
CRX—Christian Stanek 4 run (Trysten Vasquez kick)
CRX—Stanek 3 run (Vasquez kick)
CRX—Vasquez 35 FG
CRX—Will Hiserote 6 run (Vasquez kick)
CRX—Stanek 3 run (Connor Lenss kick)
CRX—Michael Cunningham 5 run (Vasquez kick)
CRX—Cunningham 43 run (Vasquez kick)
RUSH: Burlington – Williams 28-202, Nolan Simpson 6-42, Kanyae Baker 12-38, Noah Nixon 2-16, Gabe Robinson 2-15, Ryne Bowman 2-2. Xavier – Alex Neal 8-84, Cunningham 11-84, Hiserote 10-83, Aidan McDermott 3-34, Stanek 4-19, team 1 – (- 13).
PASSAGE: Burlington – Baker 4-5-0-42, Alex Fawcett 0-1-1-0. Xavier – Neal 2-3-0-20.
RECEPTION: Burlington – Fawcett 1-31, Caden Schisel 2-9, Jackson Carlson 1-2. Xavier – McDermott 1-14, Hisérote 1-6.