Edgewood-Colesburg’s football team came into its game Oct. 9 against Maquoketa Valley needing one more victory to notch an undefeated regular season. After a sluggish start for the Vikings, they were able to create some separation and take down the Wildcats, 44-14.
Ike Jones sparked the Viking offense with a 50-yard punt return that set up his touchdown shortly after from one yard out. A few minutes later, Ed-Co was on the attack again as quarterback Parker Rochford scrambled for a long touchdown run. With 6:52 remaining in the first, the Vikings led 14-0.
Maquoketa Valley fought back as A.J. Ambundo reeled in a 30-yard touchdown catch. A two-point conversion took the game into the second quarter with a 14-8 score.
“I thought tonight we played incredibly average,” head coach James Rochford said. “I didn’t think we played with a lot of intensity or urgency that we needed. Our kids played good enough to win. They (Maquoketa Valley) had a good game plan coming in and they executed very well.”
Some separation formed in the second frame. Rochford again found the endzone with his feet, this time from one yard out. Junior Jack Wiskus got in on the action following this score with an interception on defense to set up Ed-Co yet again. His efforts were rewarded as he punched in a rushing score to make it 27-8 with 2:13 remaining before the half. Senior Cameron Kirby tacked on another score and the Vikings took a 34-8 lead into the intermission.
Ed-Co’s kicker Walker Schulte knocked home a 38-yard field goal to start the second half, but the Wildcats answered. Senior Tony Offerman snagged a 24-yard touchdown to trim into the Vikings’ lead, 37-14. Rochford wrapped up the scoring with a 63-yard rush touchdown to seal the 44-14 win.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to practice this week and taking a step forward,” coach Rochford said.
For Maquoketa Valley, Ambundo had nine total touches, 116 yards and a touchdown. Offerman added two catches, 66 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Parker Sternhagen went 7-for-23, 142 yards and a touchdown.
Ed-Co’s run game fueled the win. Wiskus and Rochford each rushed for two touchdowns while Jones and Kirby added touchdowns as well. As a team, the Vikings rushed for 214 yards. On the defensive side, Konner Putz and Westin Rowcliffe tallied sacks. The unit as a whole had nine tackles for loss.
The Wildcats wrapped up their season with a 1-6 record and will now face off against North Tama for their first-round playoff game Oct. 9. North Tama went 2-5 this year and averaged a little over 15 points per game.
As for Ed-Co, the Vikings received a first-round bye in the playoffs. Coach Rochford believes the team still has some work to do before their first playoff game.
“We can go as far as we want to,” coach Rochford said. “That comes down to desire and want. Tonight, we didn’t have that real desire and most of that is on the coaching staff. We have to get focused and hit the chalkboard.”