The Kolache Bowl goes Prairie’s way comfortably, 48-7 over Jefferson at Kingston Stadium

Cedar Rapids Prairie's Apollo Payne (4) pulls in a pass during the first half of a game against Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Cliff Jette/Freelance)

CEDAR RAPIDS — You possibly can rank schedule energy any variety of other ways, use a mathematical components of your particular selecting.

However nonetheless you need to slice it or cube it, Cedar Rapids Prairie has been by means of the meat grinder that means, if you’ll, this soccer season. But the Hawks have survived it, shifting nearer to a Class 5A playoff berth Friday night time at Kingston Stadium by overwhelming Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 48-7, within the battle of west-side colleges affectionately referred to as the Kolache Bowl.

Prairie is 4-3 however ranked tenth this week by The Gazette, if that offers you any indication of the uber-tough nature of the Hawks’ 2023 schedule. Grueling is an understatement.

They went into this week with a Rankings Share Index of eleventh, as calculated by the Iowa Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation. The highest 16 colleges within the RPI qualify for the postseason.

They’ve performed 4 groups that had been ranked within the prime 10 on the time they performed them, together with No. 1 Southeast Polk. They misplaced a five-point sport to Nice Valley and a three-pointer final week to Ankeny, each included within the present prime 10.

“I’ve favored it,” stated Prairie vast receiver-defensive again Apollo Payne. “It’s been a problem, but it surely’s been good to point out the state that we will compete towards high-level groups. Present that we’re a high-level crew additionally.”

Kyle Knock is in his first 12 months as head coach on the faculty and had no say on this schedule, inheriting it and coping with it nicely. Subsequent week is yet one more toughie towards top-10 Bettendorf, with a reasonably good Iowa Metropolis West membership to shut it out.

“It’s been a kind of issues the place you’re attempting to develop a tradition as a brand new coach and attempting to win soccer video games towards very high-level groups,” Knock stated. “We’ve managed it, we’ve gotten higher each week. We had been so shut final week with Ankeny, had been shut with Nice Valley earlier within the season. We’re 5 or 6 performs away from being 6-1.

“However, yeah, we’re higher due to the schedule. We’ll be extra ready come playoff time, if that chance arises. We’ll be able to go due to it.”

Prairie has ridden the legs of operating again Casey Kelley most of this season however he left the sport early with an obvious ankle damage. Bryce Kavitz took his place and had a 118-yard, one-touchdown efficiency.

Fullback Collin Velky had three carries, all for TD: from 1, 2 and 6 yards. Then there was the passing sport.

Quarterback Will Phillips accomplished 18 of 23 throws for 285 yards and three touchdowns, two to handsome receiver Apollo Payne. He had seven catches for 103 yards.

However wideouts Denzil Inexperienced (5 catches for 76 yards) and T.Y. Pour (5 grabs for 100 yards) additionally performed nicely on this sport.

“Going into it, I used to be trying on the climate, 17-mile-per-hour winds,” Phillips stated. “We had been simply engaged on the (runs), then we discovered the wind wasn’t as unhealthy, so we began throwing it. The pocket was sort of collapsing, so I stepped up, and our receivers have actually been feeling it these days.”

You’ve received to remember Prairie ran the distinctive single-wing offense beneath earlier coach Mark Bliss, who needed to step down from his place to assist deal with a daughter who has been battling most cancers. Knock is extra ‘I’ formation, although there are a selection of different seems to be, together with a number of receivers and a shovel cross that labored so nicely Friday.

“Because the summer time, we’ve been engaged on it,” Payne stated. “Me and Will, we’ve had somewhat little bit of a connection since freshman 12 months even. So it’s coming alongside.”

Prairie had 7-0 lead after the primary quarter and prolonged its edge to 34-0 at halftime. A 3rd-quarter landing made it 41-0 and received the continual clock going.

Jefferson (4-3) averted a shutout on a pleasant 37-yard landing cross from third-string quarterback Thierry Boyd to L.J. Nyenow Jr. late within the sport. Bertin Gisubizo’s additional level supplied the ultimate rating.

“We had plenty of guys banged up coming in,” Knock stated. “Ankeny final week was an actual bodily sport. We performed the entire sport tonight with out our beginning heart. He received sick yesterday, so we needed to transfer some elements round. General I’m happy with how we confirmed up. It may have been somewhat cleaner at occasions, however total I used to be happy with the children’ effort.”

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