By Barry Poe
State champions were crowned in each of Iowa High School Football’s seven classes, making this the final segment of weekly standouts recognized by SBLive for the 2022 season.
Van Meter (1A), Harlan (3A) and Southeast Polk (5A) repeated as state champions.
Here are some stars from each of the championship competitions held at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls on November 17th and 18th.
Abu Sama, Southeast Polk
Sama, a recruit from the state of Iowa, ended his high school career in an incredible way. Sama set state championship-game records with 372 rushing yards and six touchdowns as the Rams rolled past the West Des Moines Valley 49-14 to capture their second straight Class 5A title. Sama carried 24 times and hit rushes for 65, 73, 63, 9, 1, and 67 yards.
Carson Robbins, Southeast Polk
The junior wide receiver had six catches for 166 yards and a touchdown in the 5A championship game. Robbins clinched an 89-yard scoring pass from Connor Moberly to get the ball rolling for the Rams, who capped a 12-1 campaign with the school’s second state crown.
Ayden Price, West Des Moines Valley
The senior had nine catches for 100 yards and a touchdown against Southeast Polk. Valley’s Michael Provenza passed to Price for 236 yards and a 16-yard shot.
Michael Cunningham, Cedar Rapids Xavier
Cunningham rushed for 170 yards with 25 carries and scored a touchdown as Xavier Council Bluffs outplayed Lewis Central 45-38 to win the Class 4A state championship. Xavier (13-0) won his fourth state crown, avenging a three-overtime loss to Lewis Central in last season’s title game.
Coleton Beasler-Weber, Xavier
Beasler-Weber returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in the second half and had 148 return yards for the Saints in their win over Lewis Central. Xavier held a 21-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Lewis Central closed the gap.
Thomas Sundell, Xavier
Sundell recorded a team-high with nine tackles and an interception for Xavier in the 4A title game. Sundell had 1.5 tackles for the loss and a forced fumble.
Jonathan Humpal, Lewis Central
Humpal had 240 total yards, including 136 on the return to Xavier. Humpal returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
Teagan Kasperbauer, Harlan
The senior quarterback completed 22 of 39 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the Cyclones’ 30-23 win over Mount Vernon in the Class 3A championship game. Harlan overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to repeat as state champion and claim the school’s 14th overall title.
Jacob Birch, Harlan
The senior tight end had 11 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown in Harlan’s come-from-behind win over Mount Vernon. Harlan repeated as champion for the sixth time, scoring three touchdowns in the last 12 minutes, including the game winner at 1:24, staying on a 48-yard pass from Kasperbauer to Cade Sears.
Jackson Jaspers, Mount Vernon
Jaspers had 10.5 tackles and returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown in the Mustangs’ loss to Harlan. Mount Vernon nearly made the excitement despite playing without standout quarterback Joey Rhomberg, who was injured late in a semifinal win.
Zach Lutmer, Center Lyon/George-Little Rock
Senior quarterback Lutmer ran for 147 yards and passed for 85 yards, which helped the Lions defeat Williamsburg 10-6 in the Class 2A championship game. Lutmer, who went to the University of Iowa, tossed a 30-yard pass to Reece Vander Zee for his team’s only touchdown.
Matthew Dieren, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock
Dieren kicked in a 22-yard field goal after the first half was over, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead over Williamsburg. Those were the deciding points for Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, who finished 13-0 and clinched their second state title as a consolidated programme.
Rayce Heitmann, Williamsburg
Heitman caught a 34-yard pass from Carson Huedepohl for the Raiders’ only touchdown in the 2A title game. He also recorded eight tackles for Williamsburg, finishing 12-1.
Ben Gilliland, Van Meter
The senior quarterback completed 7 of 12 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 10 times for 62 yards and another score as Van Meter defeated West Sioux 35-7 to repeat as the Class 1A state champion. Gilliland had scoring throws to Carter Durflinger and Aydn Netten.
Aydn Netten, Van Meter
In addition to catching a 61-yard touchdown pass, Netten returned a 55-yard interception for a score. Van Meter held West Sioux for 214 yards and seven points, averaging 47.5 points per game, finishing with a 12-1 record.
Mason Coppock, West Sioux
Coppock scored his team’s only touchdown on a two-yard pass from Carter Bultman and had six team-high tackles. The Falcons fell to Van Meter in the 1A title game for the second straight season, ending an 11-2 campaign.
Colin Gordon, Grundy Center
Gordon finished with 239 yards in total offense and scored two field goals in Grundy Center’s 27-0 win over West Hancock in the Class A championship game. Gordon had 129 passing yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 110 yards and another score while making field goals of 31 and 30 yards.
Tate Jirovsky, Grundy Center
Two of Jirovsky’s three catches went for touchdowns on the Spartans’ shutout at West Hancock. The Grundy Center won its fourth state title, but its first since 1988. It had lost in its last three Class A title games, including to West Hancock last season.
Brenden Fish, Remsen St. Mary’s
Fisch, a senior running back, ran for 134 yards and four touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass in the Hawks’ 38-16 win over WACO in the 8-player championship game. Fish carried 20 times and his longest scoring streak was 62 yards.
Alex Schroeder, Remsen St Mary’s
Schroeder had 98 yards in total offense and six tackles for St. Mary’s in the 8-man title game. St. Mary’s (13-0) won its third state championship in school history and second in the last three seasons.
Isaac Oswald, WACO
Oswald passed for 212 yards and a touchdown in the Warriors’ loss to Remsen St. Mary’s in the 8-player championship game. Simeon Reichenbach scored a touchdown and kicked a field goal for WACO, who suffered their only loss in 14 games this season.