High school football: Dowling dominates Xavier in 4-A final

High school football: Dowling dominates Xavier in 4-A final

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High school football: Dowling dominates Xavier in 4-A final

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa

Ryan Boyle scored four touchdowns and threw for two TDs as West Des Moines Dowling Catholic overpowered Cedar Rapids Xavier 44-13 Friday night to win the Class 4A state championship.
Boyle and the Maroons (14-0) sliced up a Xavier defense that posted eight shutouts this season and had given up only seven points in four previous playoff games.

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Boyle completed his first nine passes and finished 12 of 14 for 283 yards with one interception and kept the Saints (12-2) off balance by running 21 times for another 82 yards.
Xavier led 10-7 after quarterback Quinton Scholer faked a handoff, slipped through a hole on the left side and sprinted 72 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. But Boyle answered with a 3-yard touchdown run a little more a minute later and the Maroons dominated from then on.
Boyle set up that score with a 52-yard pass down the middle to tight end Zach Steenblock. He hit Rico Gafford with passes for 23 and 35 yards to set up his own 1-yard TD plunges and connected with Steenblock on an 83-yard hookup for the Maroons’ first touchdown.
Steenblock caught a short pass, made one move to avoid a tackle and outran the pursuit to the end zone.
Dowling’s ability in all phases was highlighted by a sequence early in the second half.
Xavier’s Ben Valentine intercepted Boyle on the first play of the half, but the Maroons dropped Scholer for back-to-back losses totaling 11 yards and forced a three-and-out. Luke DeVenney returned the ensuing punt 47 yards to the Xavier 14 and Boyle scored from the 1 four plays later.
Even when Xavier appeared to have Boyle corralled, he made something happen. Boyle spun away from a tackler to avoid what looked to be a sure sack late in the third quarter and zipped a 15-yard pass to Grant Palmer at the goal line to make it 41-10.
Dowling shut down Xavier’s running game and often had heavy pressure on Scholer, who finished 7 of 19 for 95 yards and an interception. Brendan Miller, who came in with 1,428 yards rushing, managed only 35 yards in 12 carries for the Saints, the runners-up for the second straight year.
It was the fourth state championship for Dowling, which lost in its first seven appearances in the title games. The Maroons have gone 4-0 in the finals since, and this was their most convincing victory of all.

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High school football: Dowling dominates Xavier in 4-A final
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