Defense Dominates as West High Takes Control of District 4 Race

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

DAVENPORT – There were no school records for the West High defense on Thursday against up-start Davenport North.

Just a shutout, a win and a spot atop the district standings.

A week after allowing a school-record one yard of total offense Class 4A seventh-ranked West High was dominant defensively again in a 35-0 win over Davenport North at Brady Street Stadium in Davenport.

“We performed last week but we wanted to come out and prove ourselves again,” West High senior defensive back Noah Aanestad said. “We want to prove ourselves every week.”

Marcus Morgan threw a pair of touchdown passes and West High posted its first shutout of the season as the Trojans improved to 6-1 with its fifth consecutive win.

The win snapped a three-game winning streak for Davenport North (5-2, 2-1) and moved West High into sole possession of first place in 4A District 4 at 3-0.

“Obviously this was a big game with where they were at in the district standings and we knew that coming in,” West High senior linebacker Brendan Mott said. “We knew we had to come out strong and I feel like we did that.”

West High didn’t finish with the same record-breaking defensive statistics as it did in its 41-7 win over one-win Linn-Mar last week but the Trojans were even more impressive defensively on Thursday.

The Trojans held Davenport North to -2 yards of total offense and three first downs in the opening half while racing to a 28-0 halftime lead.

Eight first-half drives for Davenport North ended with six punts, a blocked field goal and a fumble which senior defensive tackle Landon Green returned 20 yards for a touchdown that put West High up 28-0 with 5:11 left in the first half.

“Our defense has been solid all year,” West High coach Garrett Hartwig said. “We just let these guys do what they do. We don’t do anything really complicated it’s just how they play. They play fast and it’s what you want.”

West High had three sacks in the opening half and took advantage of a several bad snaps while holding the Wildcats to -41 rushing yards in the opening two quarters.

Led by Green and fellow senior defensive tackle Jason Strunk the Trojan defensive line made life difficult for the Wildcat offense all game.

Of the 27 offensive snaps for Davenport North in the first half, eight went for negative yards and four more produced no gain.

“Our defensive line I think is one of the best in the state,” Mott said. “They help us out at linebacker getting open looks, being able to fill gaps and stuff like that.”

West High forced Davenport North to go three-and-out on the opening possession of the game and promptly marched 45 yards in 10 plays, taking a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by fullback Owen McAreavy.

“That is what we talked about from the very beginning is setting the one on defense,” Aanestad said. “We knew we were going to kick off and we said we had to come out and set the tone on defense and show them what defense we are.”

West High forced another three-and-out and a 14-yard punt gave the Trojans a short field at the Wildcat 31 yard line.

Nine plays later Peter Breitbach made it 14-0 with a 5-yard touchdown run with 9:34 left in the second quarter.

Mott ended the next Wildcat drive with a sack of North quarterback Jack West on third-and-six.

The West High offense came out with a hurry-up offense and went 75 yards in four plays, taking a 21-0 lead on a 27-yard touchdown strike from Morgan to Jalen Gaudet.

“We were trying to get the run game going first and then implement the pass game after that,” Morgan said. “It was just a vertical and the line gave me plenty of time and I just threw it right in there.”

On the second play of the ensuing Davenport North drive a high snap sailed over the head of West and before the junior quarterback could corral it Green scooped up the ball and raced 20 yards to the end zone.

“Coach Meade kind of put me in my place, they were in a second and long and I said ‘lets bring some pressure and he was like ‘I am, Landon Green’,” Hartwig said. “That’s basically all he said.”

West High took the second half kickoff and needed less than two minutes to go put together a 4-play, 63-yard touchdown drive.

Morgan hit Tate Crane for a 33-yard touchdown to put West High up 35-0 and start the continuous clock.

Morgan finished 9-of-14 for 140 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 24 yards.

Breitbach led the Trojans with 39 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries as West High finished with 109 rushing yards.

“We have things we have to get cleaned up but they played well,” Hartwig said. “The offense is coming along and I’ve never been part of a team where the offense was light years ahead of the defense to start the season and now we are toward the end so both have to play well and they are getting there.”

                                   ICW                   DN

First downs                 15                     7

Rushes-yards            30-109             37-31

Comp-Att-Int               11-19-0            2-10-0

Passing yards             153                  53

Total yards                   262                  84

Punts-Avg.                  3-33                 7-30

Fumbles-lost                2-1                   5-0

Penalties-yards           6-65                 7-75

West High                  7   21  7   0  –  35

Davenport North       0    0   0   0  –   0

ICW – Owen McAreavy 3 run (Josh Jasek kick)

ICW – Peter Breitbach 5 run (Jasek kick)

ICW – Jalen Gaudet 27 pass from Marcus Morgan (Jasek kick)

ICW – Landon Green 20 fumble return (Jasek kick)

ICW – Tate Crane 33 pass from Morgan

Individual Statistics

RUSHING – ICW: Peter Breitbach 11-39, Marcus Morgan 4-24, X Lubuelo 4-13, Jalen Gaudet 2-22, Cole Mabry 3-6, Owen McAreavy 2-6, Joey Kuehn 2-5, Mekhi Johnson 1-2, Team 1-(-8). DN: Cade Sheedy 8-46, Zane Beebe 3-20, Kade Schultz 15-8, Isaac Stolmeier 6-8, Jack West 2-(-16), Team 3-(-35). 

PASSING – ICW: Marcus Morgan 9-14-0 140, Joey Kuehn 2-5-0 13. DN: Jack West 1-9-0 39, Zane Beebe 1-1-0 14.

RECEIVING – ICW: Jalen Gaudet 2-62, Tate Crane 3-53, Justin Thomas 4-29, Owen McAreavy 1-5, Nick Johnson 1-4. DN: Priest Sheedy 1-39, Abdoul Diallo 1-14.

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