CEDAR RAPIDS – For a brief second, a brawl turned into a scoring outburst.
After a rain delay and three and a half quarters of pounding away at each other, Class 3A’s No. 3 Cedar Rapids Xavier and No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock exploded for 17 points in a matter of 1:17 in the final quarter, doubling the point total at that moment.
The top-ranked Saints turned back to their defense and ground game, using a McClain Burger interception and a series rushes to burn the final 2:51 off the clock for a 20-14 victory over Waverly-Shell Rock on Friday night at Saints Field.
Xavier (7-0, 5-0) secured a playoff berth and sole possession of Class 3A, District 3 in a game that included more than an hour weather delay.
The Saints scored 10 points in less than a minute to overcome a late deficit. Xavier quarterback Quinn Schulte hit Kyle Moeder for a 28-yard touchdown with 6:13 to play in the fourth for a 17-14 lead. The scoring drive lasted two plays, opening with a 45-yard pass from Schulte to Jax Junge.
Waverly-Shell Rock (6-1, 4-1) fumbled the ensuing kickoff that Xavier recovered at the Go-Hawks 17. Xavier kicker Ben Conrad connected on a 31-yard field goal for a six-point lead with 5:18 to play. Conrad also hit a 36-yard field goal as time expired for a 10-7 halftime lead.
Xavier was forced to answer when the Go-Hawks temporarily silenced the Saints fans, taking a 14-10 lead on a 68-yard TD pass from Luke Velky to Jordan Downing with 6:35 remaining.
Two of 3A’s top defenses promised that points would be hard to come by and they delivered, combining to force five punts in the opening quarter.
Schulte finished with 115 passing yards. Junge had 109 total yards, including 59 rushing yards. Braden Stovie led the Saints with 73 rushing yards.
Velky rushed for 27 yards and threw for 81 more, including 77 to Downing.