Just Facts: City High vs Cedar Falls Preview


Jack Bacon, Reporter

Fun fact: City High defeated Iowa City Liberty 38-21 in the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Little Hawks rushed for 403 yards last Friday in what was the first-ever varsity football game in Liberty Lightning history.

This week in “Just Facts,” we’ll look forward to week two of Little Hawk football and break down key match-ups and statistics to watch as City takes on the fifth-ranked Cedar Falls Tigers.

Key Stats

Run Game

City rushed for an impressive 403 yards in week one. The Little Hawks had the advantage in both size and experience against the Bolts, whose line was comprised entirely of juniors on both sides of the ball. They won’t have that luxury against Cedar Falls. The Tigers’ offensive line is big and experienced, with all five players standing above 6’4″ and weighing between 260 and 300 pounds. The Little Hawks can expect to be undersized on both sides of the ball, and will need production from ball carriers Max DePrenger ’19, Tonka Hickman ’20, and Malik Kimber ’19, who each ran for over 100 yards in week one.

Meanwhile, look for the Tigers to try to get the ball to the outside. City had some problems containing runs against Liberty, while Cedar Falls hammered the ball to the outside in week one.

Pass Production

City High passed for a whopping…zero yards last week. That number, while concerning, is understandable. City only attempted 10 passes in a game where the offensive strategy quickly developed into a pure ground-and-pound, run-focused approach. The Little Hawks found success in the ground game and never strayed away from it.

Also complicating things was the team’s quarterback situation. Senior Quincy Wells started for the Little Hawks and lead them through most of the game, but in key stretches the City High coaching staff trusted Raph Hamilton ’21 with snaps. Both QBs managed the game well, but between the rotation and a dearth of pass opportunities, neither was able to get much going through the air. Both quarterbacks are likely to get more looks this week in a game where the Little Hawk offense will need to be firing on all cylinders.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Turnovers! City High allowed a blocked punt and two fumbles consecutively to start the third quarter against Liberty. To beat Cedar Falls, the Little Hawks will need to play sharp, disciplined football. If City can hold on to the football and continue to avoid penalties, they give themselves a chance. Add in a Tigers turnover or two and the Little Hawks could gain a crucial edge in the turnover margin.

Also expect more action for kicker Ben Steve ’19. Steve was six for six on field goals and extra points last week. His long range may give City critical opportunities to pick up points on otherwise stalled drives.

Players to Watch

City needs a great game out of Senior Malik Kimber. Kimber, who plays receiver and strong safety, got most of his touches last week out of the wildcat formation. He was often the spark when the Little Hawks needed him, picking up key first downs and a 90-yard touchdown run. Offensively, Kimber can help lighten the load for running backs Hickman and DePrenger as well as help the Little Hawks establish their passing game. On defense he will also be a crucial part of City’s effort to contain Cedar Falls on outside runs.

Two Cedar Falls players to watch are linebacker Jack Campbell and wide receiver Logan Wolf. Campbell is committed to the University of Iowa and considered one of the top recruits in the state. The Little Hawks will have to find a way to neutralize him if they want to get anything going on the ground.

Wolf, who takes snap at both receiver and quarterback, will be another key player for the Tigers. Committed to UNI in both football and basketball, he used his speed to deliver multiple long touchdowns for Cedar Falls in week one. The City High secondary will have to find a way to stop him.