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Cedar Rapids Xavier's Quinn Schulte (5) pitches the gal to Gabe Lux (15) as Waverly-Shell Rock's Jordan Gayer (5) makes a tackle in the first half of their game in Cedar Rapids in October.


No. 5 Pella (11-1) vs.

No. 3 C.R. Xavier (12-0)

  • Time: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Location: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls
  • Postseason history: Pella is making its 29th appearance and 11th straight. The Dutch have won the last three Class 3A state titles and were runners-up in 2009. ... These are the 14th playoffs for Xavier since consolidation and 12th straight. The Saints were champs in 2006 and finished second in 2012 and '13 at the Class 4A level.
  • Road to the finals: Pella beat Webster City 27-7, avenged its only loss with a 35-18 win over No. 2 Dallas Center-Grimes and edged Harlan 41-39. ... Xavier rolled past Oskaloosa (43-10), Davenport Assumption (44-21) and Solon (35-7).
  • Quick slants: Pella ended Xavier's season in both the 2014 and 2016 semifinals. This year's Dutch average 35.3 points, 221.6 rushing yards (5.9 per carry) and 140.2 passing yards per game. Ryan Gustafson is 94 of 188 passing for 1,664 yards with 16 TDs and 12 interceptions. Reece Schnell is the leading rusher with 837 yards and 17 scores and Avery Van Zee has 665 yards and 13 TDs. Van Zee is also the leading receiver (22 catches, 514 yards). Defensively, Pella has 26 takeaways and has allowed an average of 13.8 points per game. ... Xavier averages 35.0 points, 214.8 rushing yards (6.0 per carry) and 99.3 passing yards per game. Quinn Schulte is 76 of 114 for 1,115 yards and 13 TDs with just one interception. Braden Stovie has rushed for 921 yards and Schulte 872 with 19 scores. The Saints' defense allows 8.3 points per game, has 26 takeaways and has held seven opponents to a TD or less with four shutouts. Kicker Ben Conrad is 8 of 12 on field goals, including a 40-yarder and Xavier is dangerous in the return game, averaging 30.2 yards on punt returns with five TDs -- three by Stovie and two by Gabe Lux.

Sports Editor

Sports Editor for The Courier

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