Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
West High had its season end with a 43-28 loss to fourth-ranked Bettendorf in the Class 4A quarterfinals on Friday.
The loss stopped a string of two consecutive 4A title game appearances for the Trojans which have put together one of the best three-year stretches in program history.
West High finished 9-2 this season and is 31-6 over the past three seasons, ranking second in 4A for most wins over the past three years.
Only five-time defending 4A champion West Des Moines Dowling has won more games (33) than West High over the past three seasons.
West Des Moines Valley and Ankeny Centennial each have 28 wins over the past three seasons while Bettendorf has 27 wins during that span.
Semifinal glance: West Des Moines Dowling (9-2) avenged a 20-6 regular season loss to top-ranked West Des Moines Valley with a 31-9 quarterfinal win over the Tigers.
Dowling is two wins away from a sixth straight Class 4A state title and will face Bettendorf (10-1) in a 4A semifinal on Friday at 4 p.m.
The Cinderella of the 4A field Southeast Polk (6-5) will face home town Cedar Falls (7-0) in the second semifinal at 7 p.m.
No team has won the 4A title with more than one loss since West Des Moines Valley went 10-3 and wo the title in 2002.
In Class 1A top-ranked Dike-New Hartford (11-0) and Pella Christian (8-3) will meet in the first semifinal on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The second 1A semifinal is a matchup of defending state champions.
Defending 1A champion Van Meter (11-0) will put its 24-game winning streak on the line against last year’s Class A champion West Sioux (10-1).
Gaudet Goes Over 1,000: For the fourth consecutive season West High has a 1,000-yard receiver.
Jalen Gaudet eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 169 yards on five receptions on Friday giving the senior receiver 37 receptions for 1,061 yards on the season.
Gaudet becomes the third different West High player to crack the 1,000-yard barrier in the past three seasons.
Oliver Martin had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2015 and 2016 and Traevis Buchanan crossed 1,000 yards last year.
The 37 receptions for Gaudet mark the fewest for a 1,000-yard West High receiver over the past four seasons and his 28.7 yard per catch average was tops in Class 4A.
Cornwell Ends on Top: West Branch had its season end with a 31-21 quarterfinal loss to Van Meter closing the door on the best passing season for a quarterback in program history.
Senior quarterback Beau Cornwell closed the season with a school-record 2,152 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.
Cornwell also led Class 1A in completion percentage at 66.8 percent which was less than a single percentage point off the school record.
The senior passed for 173 yards and two touchdowns against Van Meter and finished with 25 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season.
Offensive Performer of the week: West High sophomore quarterback Marcus Morgan closed a strong debut season with a solid performance in a quarterfinal loss to Bettendorf.
Morgan completed 14-of-41 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 108 yards in the 43-28 loss.
Best of the rest: West High senior receiver Jalen Gaudet caught five passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in a 43-28 loss to Bettendorf.
West Branch senior quarterback Beau Cornwell completed 11-of-18 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 loss to Van Meter.
West Branch senior receiver Brady Lukavsky caught two passes for 46 yards including a 46-yard touchdown pass in a 31-21 loss to Van Meter.
Defensive performer of the week: The top tackler for West Branch each of the past two seasons it seemed fitting that John Hatfield led the Bears in tackles in his final prep game.
The senior linebacker had a team-high 10 tackles, including a team-best seven solo stops, in a 31-21 loss to Van Meter.
Best of the rest: West High senior defensive back Cole Mabry had a team-high 7.5 tackles including six solos and recovered a fumble in a 43-28 loss to Bettendorf.
West Branch senior defensive tackled Drake Bloem had 8.5 tackles including a tackle for loss in a 31-21 loss to Van Meter.
West High senior defensive tackle Landon Green had 5.5 tackles including two for loss in a 43-28 loss to Bettendorf.