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Iowa high school football: Recap, analysis of Class 4A semifinals

CEDAR FALLS — Greetings from the UNI-Dome.

The state football semifinal round is well underway here. The 8-Player semifinal games took place Wednesday, with both WACO and Remsen St. Mary's advancing to next week's state championship game. Earlier on Thursday, both West Hancock and Grundy Center advanced in Class A.

The two Class 4A state semifinal games were played later on Thursday. Lewis Central thumped Carlisle in the first 4A state semifinal, then Cedar Rapids Xavier thumped North Scott in the nightcap.

We offered live updates here from both Class 4A state semifinal games. Be sure to scroll to check how both games unfolded.

More:Our predictions for every state semifinal game at the UNI-Dome this week

Final: Cedar Rapids Xavier 38, North Scott 10

The Saints rolled over North Scott, setting up a rematch with Lewis Central in next week's Class 4A state championship game.

Xavier raced out to a 24-3 halftime lead, then extended it to 38-3 in the second half to enact the continuous clock. North Scott stopped the running clock with a late touchdown, but couldn't stop the Saints. Their season ends at 9-3.

Xavier improves to 12-0 and will play in next Thursday's title game again. The Saints' mean defense against Lewis Central's explosive offense will surely be one of the greatest shows of the season.

Xavier scores again to enact the running clock

With 11:08 to play, Xavier scored again to go up 38-3.

Bring on the running clock — and bring on a Xavier-Lewis Central rematch in next week's Class 4A state title game.

Xavier goes big again to start the third quarter

Might be able to write Xavier into next week's title game.

The Saints opened the second half with a quick-and-efficient touchdown drive, a 6-play, 80-yarder that spanned just 3:12 of game clock. The bulk of the drive came on a 64-yard pass from Ronan Thomas to Grayson Hartman, and it ended on an 11-yard touchdown run by Aidan McDermott.

It's now 31-3, Xavier, with 8:48 left in the third quarter. North Scott is running out of time.

Halftime: Cedar Rapids Xavier 24, North Scott 3

We've reached halftime. After Xavier went up 21-3, North Scott had a drive end on a nifty one-handed interception by Aidan McDermott. The Lancers defense held and forced the Saints to punt, but then North Scott muffed the return and Xavier recovered the ball … only to fumble it away again on the next play.

Xavier's defense then did its thing and back North Scott up and forced them to punt out of their own end zone. That gave the Saints good field position for a half-ending field goal. Kale Christensen connected on a 25-yard field goal to take us to recess.

Story so far has been Xavier's defense, of course. North Scott has just 92 yards of offense thus far. Even more telling, two of their five drives have totaled negative yardage, and a third drive spanned just nine yards. That Saints defense is basically a brick wall.

Unless the Lancers come out with something big in the second half — and the Saints start the second half with the ball, by the way — we're trending toward a Xavier-Lewis Central title game. Giddy up!

BIG play for Xavier's offense

Right after the Lancers scored, the Saints went big — like 90 yards big.

Xavier's third offensive possession lasted all of two plays, but it spanned 85 yards. After a holding penalty backed the Saints up to their own 10-yard line, QB Ronan Thomas faked a screen pass, then hit a wide-open Grayson Hartman for a 90-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

That's three touchdowns in as many possessions for the Saints, and with less than six minutes until halftime, Xavier holds a commanding 21-3 lead here at the UNI-Dome. North Scott needs a fast answer, or we're quickly headed for a Xavier-Lewis Central rematch in the Class 4A state championship game.

North Scott is on the board

Of course, right after we write an update praising Xavier's defense, North Scott finds some offensive life.

The Lancers convert that 3rd-and-8 to start the second quarter and turn the possession into a 65-yard drive that ends in a 30-yard field goal by Liam Regan. QB Kyler Gerardy rushed for 35 yards on that drive alone to help North Scott move the ball.

SCORE: Xavier 14, North Scott 3, with 7:31 until halftime.

First Quarter: Xavier 14, North Scott 0

The first quarter has ended, and it was all Saints in the opening 12 minutes. Xavier leads 14-0.

A pair of touchdown runs by Ronan Thomas gave the Saints a comfortable lead here. In all, they accumulated 114 yards of offense in the first quarter, including 105 on the ground.

North Scott, meanwhile, has run 8 plays and has gained 6 yards. The Lancers face a 3rd-and-8 from their own 24 when the second quarter begins.

Cedar Rapids Xavier strikes first against North Scott

The second Class 4A state semifinal game is underway — and top-ranked Xavier is already on the board.

After forcing North Scott into a first-possession three-and-out, the Saints reach the end zone on their first possession, on a 1-yard TD plunge by QB Ronan Thomas. It capped an 8-play, 58-yard drive, much of which came on a 28-yard run by Michael Cunningham.

Midway through the first quarter, Xavier leads, 7-0. And away we go.

Game Story: Lewis Central steamrolls Carlisle in Class 4A state semifinals

CEDAR FALLS — The mighty, mighty Titans sure looked the part on Thursday.

Lewis Central obliterated Carlisle, 42-21, in the first Class 4A state semifinal here at the UNI-Dome. The Titans improved to 12-0 and advance to next week's state championship game. The Wildcats' season ends at 10-2.

This first semifinal game was a rematch from Week 2, when Lewis Central held on for a thrilling 28-21 win. In that game, the Titans stormed out to an early lead, but Carlisle battled back with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

There was no such rally in Thursday's second meeting.

Click here to read more from the first Class 4A state semifinal game.

Jonathan Humpal of Lewis Central breaks tackles during the 4A semifinals game against Carlisle at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
Jonathan Humpal of Lewis Central breaks tackles during the 4A semifinals game against Carlisle at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

Final: Lewis Central 42, Carlisle 21

Carlisle picked up a trio of fourth-quarter touchdowns after Lewis Central inserted its reserve players into the game, but the Titans ultimately cruised to victory. They improve to 12-0 on the season and will play in next week's Class 4A state championship game. The Wildcats bow out at 10-2.

We'll have more from this game in a bit. The second Class 4A state semifinal, between Cedar Rapids Xavier and North Scott, will kickoff around 7 p.m.

Another Jonathan Humpal TD in the third quarter

After three quarters of play: Lewis Central 42, Carlisle 0.

The Wildcats went three-and-out to start the second half. Lewis Central then scored a touchdown while eating up 7:31 of game clock. The Titans went 55 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Humpal, his second score of the game.

This second half is moving fast because of the running clock, so the fourth quarter may be over quickly, too. The second state semifinal, between Cedar Rapids Xavier and North Scott, may actually begin at 7 p.m. tonight.

Jonathan Humpal and Parker Heller of Lewis Central celebrate a touchdown against Carlisle during the 4A semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
Jonathan Humpal and Parker Heller of Lewis Central celebrate a touchdown against Carlisle during the 4A semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

Halftime: Lewis Central 35, Carlisle 0

It was all Titans in the first half of the first Class 4A state semifinal. Lewis Central leads Carlisle 35-0 at the intermission.

The Titans are cruising, to the tune of 334 total yards of offense on just 28 plays. QB Braylon Kammrad is 17-of-20 for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, including two to Curtis Witte, spanning 12 and 37 yards. RB Jonathan Humpal is up to 75 rushing yards on 6 carries, much of which came on a 58-yard touchdown run on the game's second play.

Carlisle has mustered just 129 yards of offense. The Wildcats turned the ball over on downs on their opening possession, have turned the ball over twice, and have punted twice more. That's a tall mountain to climb in the second half.

Carlisle will receive to start the second half, but a running clock will be in effect due to Lewis Central's 35-point lead.

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Make that 27-0 Lewis Central in the second quarter

We may get a running clock here, folks. Lewis Central is rolling early.

A third offensive possession results in a third touchdown for the Titans. Braylon Kammrad hit a wide-open Curtis Witte for a 37-yard touchdown, their second time connecting for a touchdown already this half.

Carlisle fumbled the ball away on their next possession, and on the very next play, the Titans scored again — Kammrad hit Parker Heller in the flats, and Heller did the rest on a 27-yard catch-and-run score.

SCORE: Lewis Central 27, Carlisle 0, 9:21 left in the second quarter.

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Lewis Central leads Carlisle 13-0 at the end of the first quarter

The Titans were dominant in the opening 12 minutes.

Lewis Central had the ball twice and scored twice. They racked up 141 yards of offense on just 12 plays. The Wildcat defense doesn't have an answer yet.

Carlisle has the ball and faces a 3rd-and-13 on its own 28 when the second quarter begins.

Another Lewis Central touchdown

Lewis Central took Carlisle's turnover on downs and turned it into another touchdown.

The Titans were more methodical this time, marching 76 yards in 10 plays, ending with Braylon Kammrad hitting Curtis Witte for a 12-yard score. Kammrad is 7-of-8 for 78 yards to start.

SCORE: Lewis Central 13, Carlisle 0, 2:51 left in the first quarter.

Carlisle's first possession: turnover on downs

The Wildcats responded to the Titans' quick score by matriculating the ball down the field. They went 59 yards in 10 plays, most all exclusively on the ground, but on 4th-and-3 at Lewis Central's 26, QB Joe Goodhue hit Tyler Deal for a gain of just 2, giving the Titans the ball back.

SCORE: Lewis Central 6, Carlisle 0, 6:42 left in the first quarter.

Titans score first: Jonathan Humpal runs 58 yards for a TD

It took two plays for the Titans to find the end zone.

After QB Braylon Kammrad hit Bryce Juon for a 7-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage, Jonathan Humpal took the second snap 58 yards to the house. A missed PAT makes it 6-0, Lewis Central, just 42 seconds into this game.

Heck of a start. We'll see what Carlisle does to answer.

Lewis Central won the toss, will receive opening kickoff

These two teams meet back in Week 2, with Lewis Central winning 28-21. The Titans are the returning Class 4A state champions while Carlisle is in the state semifinals for just the second time in school history. Should be fun.

Strap in and enjoy the show.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa high school football: Recap, scores from Class 4A semifinals