Iowa City West dominates to win the Battle for the Boot

An opening kickoff return for a touchdown set the tone for the Trojans as they cruised past the Little Hawks, 56-20.


Nichole Harris

City quarterback Raphael Hamilton is taken down by West wide receiver Damarion Williams during a football game between Iowa City West and Iowa City High School at Iowa City West High School on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The Trojans defeated the Little Hawks 56-20.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iowa City West Trojans started their first home game of the season with a pop and never fizzled out.

In the Battle for the Boot against their crosstown rival, the Iowa City Little Hawks, senior wide receiver Grahm Goering returned the opening kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown. Goering and the Trojans never let up and won, 56-20, moving their record to 2-0.

“I saw a hole,” Goering said. “I had great blocks from the start, and they helped me all the way through. Made a couple of guys miss and then I made the 20-yard line, and I had a guy block before me so that just created space for me.”

Goering and senior quarterback Marcus Morgan made the most hay in this game. On top of the opening kickoff, Goering had three TD receptions and Morgan had five combined touchdowns– four via air and one on the ground.

After a high snap from the Little Hawks on their first drive led to a punt, the Trojans got their first drive of the game, and it was a dandy. Morgan threw a 56-yard TD to senior wide receiver Damarion Williams less than five minutes into the game.

It was the Little Hawks time to shine after that, as they slowly moved the ball from their own 32-yard line. When the second quarter started, senior quarterback Raph Hamilton passed it short to sophomore Ben Kueter, who creatively found his way in the end zone for a five-yard TD.

There was some time before the next score for the Trojans, but they got another one when Morgan got to take things into his own hands and ran in for a 10-yard TD with 8:11 left in the first half.

From that point forward, it was all Trojans. Morgan threw a 22-yard TD to Goering halfway through the second quarter, and then a seven-yard TD to him before the end of the first half. Goering made his final TD catch in the fourth quarter on a 33-yard reception.

“Me and that guy go back to our freshman year,” Morgan said. “We always that connection. We’ve been putting in the work all offseason together, during quarantine we were out working together, and we’ve always had the connection and that showed tonight.”

On the first offensive drive of the second half for the Trojans, senior running back Trey King found the end zone from three yards out. There was also an interception thrown by Hamilton in the second half that was taken back into the end zone, helping the Trojans a little more.

As of right now, neither of these schools will play for two weeks starting Sept. 8. As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the Iowa Department of Education said in August that “in-person activities and practices would need to be suspended during the period of 100 percent remote learning.”

It’s unknown when these squads will return to the field, but for the Trojans, they’ll relish this victory.

“I mean we got the two games, the city championship in the books,” Goering said. “I mean, no matter what happens with the whole district thing, we’re going out hard, and we’re to play it day-by-day and hope for the best.”

Trojans head coach Garrett Hartwig said he does have hope for the future of the season and is preparing to play next week.

“I believe we’re going to be playing, myself,” Hartwig said. “But I’m an optimist about it.”

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