Thursday, December 08, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Saints march into playoffs at 9-0

TAMA - Xavier Coach Duane Schulte spotted several of his players sneaking up from behind with a bucket of ice water Friday night and tried to escape, but it was too late.

Schulte got drenched in the final minute of Xavier's 48-12 victory over South Tama that gave the Saints a perfect 9-0 record for the regular season.

For good measure, the head coach got doused again a short time later with another bucket.

"Whenever there's an undefeated regular season, my dad gets a little bath," explained quarterback Bryce Schulte, one of the perpetrators. "Reggie's group did it (in 2012). And we did it last year at Marion, too. It was pretty fun."

This is the fourth undefeated regular season in school history. It happened the first time in 2006, when the Saints marched all the way to Class 4A state title. It happened in 2012 with Reggie Schulte at quarterback on the way to another trip to the Class 4A finals, and now it's happened two straight years in Class 3A.

Coach Schulte would gladly take a cold bath in public every year in salute to a perfect regular season.

"I think it's great for our kids and our program," he said. "It's hard to win one game on a Friday night, let alone nine. I'm proud of our coaches and our players."

Bryce Schulte passed for three touchdowns and tied his brother Reggie's school record for career completions with 265. Maliki Wilson scored three times and began the festivities with an 85-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff.


Burns has been a big catch for Saints

Brett Burns has been a secret weapon for the Xavier football team for most of the season, but the secret is out now.

Burns, a lanky tight end, has caught four touchdown passes in the last five games for the Saints and is tied for the team lead with those four TD grabs.

Burns did not catch a single pass for Xavier last year as a junior. And he did not catch any touchdown passes in the first three games this season, but he's become a big threat for the Saints now.

Xavier (8-0, 6-0) will finish the regular season at South Tama on Friday night, then steam into the Class 3A playoffs with a home game next Friday night, Oct. 28.

Burns was a wide receiver for the Saints last year, but he moved to tight end this season and has eight catches for 108 yards. He's tied with Nolan Butkowski and Quinn Schulte with his four TD passes from quarterback Bryce Schulte.

When Coach Duane Schulte sends in the plays, he generally gives Bryce the option of finding an open receiver and throwing the ball to him, rather than picking a receiver in advance.

"Coach Schulte has been calling good plays that get us in areas where we can succeed," Burns said Tuesday before practice. "I'm just glad that Bryce has some trust in me that he's throwing me the ball."


Bonnett joins Iowa Women's Softball League

Megan Bonnett of Luther College has become the 11th and newest member of the Iowa Women's Fast-Pitch Softball League that will begin play in Cedar Rapids next summer.

Bonnett is a middle infielder who starred at Iowa City Regina High School during her prep softball days. She was named all-conference, all-district and all-state at Regina in 2013 and 2014 and was named Regina's MVP both years.

Bonnett is currently a junior at Luther, which competes in the Iowa Conference at the NCAA Division III level.

The new Iowa Women's Softball League, which is being formed by the Metro Sports Report, is intended for all active college players in Iowa and for Iowans who are playing at out-of-state schools.


The season will consist of 10 doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons next summer, beginning on Sunday, May 28 and running through Sunday, July 30. All of the games will be played at Kirkwood Community College and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, beginning at 2 p.m. each day.


What a rush! Hawkeyes run past Purdue

It would have been a lot more fun at Kinnick Stadium this Saturday if the Wisconsin Badgers had found a way to upset the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday night.

The Badgers would have arrived with sirens blaring and their confidence sky-high if they could have held onto their 13-point lead over OSU, but the Buckeyes rallied for a 30-23 victory in overtime and now the Badgers will limp into Iowa City.

That's a good thing, mind you. The atmosphere at Kinnick would have been electric this Saturday if the Hawkeyes would have been facing the team that just bumped the Buckeyes off the list of unbeatens, but the Badgers might have their daubers down a little bit when they arrive in Iowa City and be primed for another setback.

Beating the Badgers after they just beat Ohio State would have been grand entertainment, but beating the Badgers after they just had a near-miss against one of the national powers will keep the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten race.

Iowa ran all over Purdue, 49-35, on Saturday after bolting to a 35-7 cushion by halftime. Things got a little sloppy after Kirk Ferentz sent into the reserves with a 42-14 lead and the Boilermakers pulled within 42-28, but Ferentz put his top troops back on the field and All-American Desmond King responded with a Pick-6 to give Iowa a 49-28 bulge and ice the victory.

Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels left their cleat marks all over the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium. Wadley carried the ball 14 times for 170 yards and a 75-yard touchdown, while Daniels lugged the ball 24 times for 156 yards, two TDs and a 67-yard jaunt.


Oh, brother! Schulte breaks Metro record

Somewhere in Ohio, Reggie Schulte was smiling Friday night when he heard about what his younger brothers and the Xavier Saints did in their football game against Vinton-Shellsburg.

Bryce Schulte passed for three touchdowns and snapped Reggie's old Metro record for career TD passes as Xavier topped Vinton-Shellsburg, 32-8, to claim its third Class 3A district title in a row at Saints Field.

Reggie Schulte collected 49 touchdown passes during his all-state career at Xavier in 2011 and 2012, but Bryce zoomed past him Friday night with the 48th, 49th and 50th of his career.

And to keep it all in the family, Bryce Schulte's record-setting 50th touchdown pass was caught by his brother Quinn in the fourth quarter for a 2-yard score.

Reggie Schulte likes to attend as many Xavier football games as he can, but he was in Ohio Friday night with the University of Northern Iowa Panthers as they got ready for Saturday night's game against Youngstown State.

"He does Twitter, so I'm sure he's getting updates from somebody," said Duane Schulte, the Xavier coach and their father. "I'm guessing he already knows what happened."

Bryce Schulte knew he was getting close to Reggie's school and Metro record, but was not aware when it happened. He was too busy.

"I was so focused on the game and just worrying about scoring on that last drive that I didn't really notice it," he said. "And then someone said something on the sideline and I was like, 'Oh, OK. That's pretty cool.'"

Bryce and Quinn were not sure if they'd hear from Reggie after the game or not. Bryce figured that Reggie, a back-up quarterback for UNI, was probably studying film for Saturday's game.


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