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1981 Class 4A Semifinals


Bettendorf (9-1) vs. Cedar Rapids Washington (10-0)

As the story goes, when the Warriors of Cedar Rapids got off the bus in Bettendorf, they proudly—and rightfully so—carried their #1 ranking and perfect 10-0 record with them. However, they also all were wearing brand new indoor shoes—bought in advance for the state championship game the next week. Whether they were being arrogant, disrespectful, or just plain oblivious, the point was well-taken: Washington was good and they knew it. Offensively, the Warriors were led by quarterback Brad White whose main targets were Bill Happel and Kyle Akers while defensively, end Billy Johnson, lineman Brian Braxell, and linebacker John Bechfield led the charge. The Bulldogs were well-aware of their opponent’s strengths, however, Bettendorf knew something that the Warriors seemed to disregard: they, too, were pretty darn good. On offense, the Bulldogs could just as easily move the ball on the ground with running back Randy Washam or through the air via Mark Walker’s arm to tight end Mark Spranger—either way, offensive linemen Jeff Bakeris, Brian McCracken, and Doug Waidelich would get the job done. Defensively—well, the Warriors had yet to meet the likes of end Brett Kuebler, linebacker Bob Picchiotti, and back Tom Horak who would show them that underestimating them proved costly.