Waukee clinched at least a share of the Class 4A Divsion 4 title with a 23-14 win over Council Bluffs Lincoln on Oct. 18.
It their first conference or division championship since reaching the Class 4A level in 2006, and first since winning a Class 3A title with a 10-1 record in 2005.
"This was a solid win for the team and program," coach Scott Carlson said. "It was good to get that first 4A divisional championship."
The Warriors, who won their seventh straight game, are already assured of hosting a first-round playoff game on Oct. 30, and if they win, the second-round game on Nov. 4. They can win the division outright with a victory at Sioux City West on Thursday.
Waukee trailed the Lynx 14-10 at halftime, but turned the game around with its first drive of the third quarter. Quarterback Ben Ferkin hit wide-open tight end Michael Jacobson on a 40-yard pass play, setting up the first of two rushing scores for Trevor Allen. Allen, who ran for 122 yards on 32 carries, added his second touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Lincoln took a lead after Waukee’s first drive, when Payton Hiffernan blocked a punt by Cody Call, and Jake Whalen returned it 22 yards to put the Lynx up 7-0. Waukee also had a 47-yard field goal blocked just before halftime, and had a long touchdown pass from Ferkin to Scott Stanley was negated because of a penalty.
"We were able to battle through adversity, which was a very encouraging sign," Carlson said. "It was good to see that we could respond when it mattered the most against a solid Abe Lincoln team."
Ike Bruns kicked a 25-yard field goal to get Waukee on the board, and Ferkin hit Koy Schneiter on a 28-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to give Waukee a 10-7 lead with 4:40 left in the second quarter.
The Lynx countered with an 82-yard drive, culminating in an eight-yard touchdown run by Hiffernan with 23 seconds left.
Ferkin finished the night 7-of-18 passing for 110 yards. Schneiter caught three passes for 59 yards.
Connor Wachter had eight tackles to pace the defense. Pat Gray finished with six and both Anthony Nelson and Bryce Dunham had five. Gray, Dunham, Nelson and Nick Tweeten recorded sacks.
"The kids responded well and found a way to get the job done in a very physical game," Carlson said.
The Warriors will look to keep the momentum rolling at Sioux City West on Thursday. The Wolverines, who are 2-2 in divisional play and 2-6 overall, are already assured a playoff berth with Division 4’s fourth seed.