West Delaware completed a 7-1 regular season with a 62-6 Senior Night win over Waterloo East, at Brown Field, Oct. 9.
“What a terrific group of seniors. They have been a pleasure to coach,” said West Delaware coach Doug Winkowitsch. “I can’t say enough about them.”
With the win, the Hawks earned a home field first-round playoff game, Friday, Oct. 16, against an opponent that is fresh in their minds — Waterloo East. With 53 schools competing in nine districts in Class 3A, the teams were aligned into 16 pods of three or four schools. 11 schools were awarded first-round byes. Decorah received the bye in District 3 and will face the winner of Charles City and Wahlert Catholic in Pod #5, while West Delaware will play a rematch with the Trojans in Pod #6. Waverly-Shell Rock and Western Dubuque complete the pod, with the winners facing off in second-round play, Oct. 23..
“We were a little surprised we were not awarded a bye,” said Winkowitsch. “We are OK having an extra week of prep.”
It didn’t take long for West Delaware to get on the board against an East High team that entered the contest fresh off its first win of the season over Charles City.
Following Connor Funk’s kickoff return to the East 45, quarterback Jared Voss found Kyle Cole behind the Trojan defense. Cole made a fine catch and raced to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage to put the Hawks up 7-0 after Funk’s PAT kick.
When East fumbled on its first play from scrimmage and Wyatt Voelker — who disrupted the Trojan offense all night — recovered, the Hawks were in business at the East 17, advancing to the nine-yard line before turning the ball over on downs when the East defense stiffened.
East picked up a trio of first downs on its next possession, moving into West Delaware territory before being hit by the penalty bug. The Trojan defense pressured the Hawks into a three-and-out for a second time.
A 56-yard punt by Funk flipped field position, and three plays later Raub Loecke’s interception gave West Delaware terrific field position at the East 34. The Hawks went the distance in four plays, with Cole scoring on a reverse from 11 yards to extend the lead to 14-0 with 39 seconds remaining in the first period.
“We struggled a little bit early,” said Winkowitsch. ”I kind of saw it coming. We had a good week of practice, but sometimes those games are tough. We knew they were going to walk up to the ball, and we got caught up in that a bit.”
After another East punt, the Hawks went 36 yards in three plays. Cole ran for 13 yards on second down, and Voelker ran for 11 yards on the next play, with a facemask penalty moving the ball to the two. Voss scored from there and it was 21-0 at the 10:41 mark after the Funk PAT.
After another East possession led to a punt, the Hawks took over at their own 22 and went 78 yards in 12 plays, with a solid dose of Voss and Voelker on the ground. Voelker’s six-yard blast made it 28-0 late in the second period.
East went three-and-out to start the second half. West Delaware started the third period much like it opened the contest when Voss found Kyle Kelley — who wrestled the ball from the East defender before outrunning the secondary to the promised land — for a 52-yard touchdown at the 10:46 mark to push the lead to 35-0 and get the game clock running continuously.
After Cole picked off East QB Justin Thomas on the next drive, Voelker scored from 15 yards to make it 42-0, and the Hawks made it 49-0 on the next possession when Voelker scored for the third time on a two-yard run.
Funk scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns — from 10 yards with 8:35 remaining and three yards with 3:27 to go — while Thomas found Brenden Stiller on a 74-yard pass play to get the Trojans on the board with 6:59 remaining.
“The second half I was really happy with the way we played,” Winkowitsch said. “We knew we had to push the tempo. We had to get on the ball — there’s no reason to wait — and did a much better job the second half.”
Looking forward, Winkowitsch and the Hawks will get back to work with a deep playoff run on the table.
“We’re going to go in and take care of the things we need to take care of this week,” he said. “We’ll go in and enjoy this and see where we go from here.”
West Delaware statistics against Waterloo East: passing — Voss 8-of-12 for 152 yards and two TDs, rushing — Voelker 19-for-152 and three TDs, Funk 5-for-48 and two TDs, Voss 9-for-46 and one TD, Cole 4-for-31 and one TD, Will Halverson 3-for-11, Jadyn Peyton 1-for-7; receiving — Cole 3-for-72 and one TD, Kelley three-for-65 and one TD,Jamison Smith 1-for-8, Logan Woellert 1-for-7; PAT kicks — Fink 7-of-8, Gavin Tucker 1-of-1; tackles — Voelker 7, Josh Seeley 4.5, Loecke and Kieran Monaghan 3.5, Cole and Smith 3, Kelley and Logan Woellert 2.5, Christian Nunley, Kody Monaghan and Peyton two, Payton Lewin and Jaxson Woellert 1.5, Funk, Carter Krogmann, Isaac Fettkether and Ethan Proper one, Lukas Meyer, Blake Engel and Elias Tibbott 0.5; interceptions — Cole and Loecke one; fumble recovery — Voelker.