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Bolts struggle against Trojans

Iowa City West wins season-opener against Liberty High, 27-0
A sign of the times: Liberty High varsity players storm the field while carrying their own water jugs, a concession to COVID-19 mitigation strategies. The Lightning fell to visiting Iowa City West High 27-0 in a stadium devoid of spectators.

NORTH LIBERTY– Cheerleaders cheered, a small pep band (socially distanced in the stands and with cloth covers over the bells of their horns) performed, and the football teams did gridiron war Friday, Aug. 28, as the Iowa City West High Trojans invaded the Liberty Lightning.
But there were no spectators inside the stadium.
As part of the Iowa City Community School District’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, spectators were not allowed in (they instead gathered on top of vehicles in the parking lots and stood along the fence surrounding the stadium).
The “Bolts” struggled mightily against the Trojans and fell in a 27-0 shutout to mark their debut in Class 4A football, and the first varsity meeting between the two teams.
Brody Fishman, a senior, gave those cheerleaders a reason to cheer early in the first quarter as he intercepted a pass from West High standout Marcus Morgan. The resulting Liberty High drive died, however, as Trojan defense frustrated the Lightning. West took possession late in the period, and scored just after the start of the second quarter as Trey King ran the ball in for a 6-0 lead. Lightning defense foiled a two-point conversion attempt, and held the Trojans out of the end zone for the rest of the half. West High attempted a 43-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, but the kick missed its mark.
Morgan added to the Trojans’ lead by scoring on a quarterback keeper, followed with a successful point-after kick in the third quarter for a 13-0 advantage. With 5:04 remaining in the period, Morgan pitched the ball to Boaz Abramoff for a 3-yard touchdown pass, again with a good kick, to make it 20-0. The drive began after West High captured the ball by recovering a Lightning fumble.
The Trojans finished off the Bolts in the fourth quarter as Morgan connected with a receiver for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Again, it was a case of the Trojans capitalizing on a Liberty mistake, a 15-yard pass interference call in this instance, which set the table for West.
Individual stats were not available as of deadline.
All three Iowa City Community School District teams are expected to be in action on Friday, Sept. 4, but will take a hiatus of at least two weeks starting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, as the district resumes classes in a 100 percent online format in response to increasing positivity rates in Johnson County for the coronavirus.