With the largest first-quarter scoring margin in nearly five years, the Waukee High School football team steamrolled their way to a 74-12 victory over Ottumwa Friday, Oct. 11.
It was their largest margin of victory and it resulted in 491 total yards of offense and over 27 minutes in time of possession. A large part of that had to do with the 47 point opening quarter that led to a 47-0 lead heading into the second quarter. Close to half the offensive production occurred in that first quarter.
The scoring action kicked off in dramatic fashion as Aaron Smith went the distance with a 54-yard touchdown run on his only rush of the game. That now gives the junior two rushing scores on the season. Senior signal-caller Mitch Randall had a hand in the next two straight scores on scoring runs of 13 and 24 yards to pad the early lead 26-0. Further first-quarter scoring for Waukee also included Joe Morrison who captured one of two end-zone trips in the quarter on a 71-yard punt return to increase the lead even more, now 33-0. Furthermore, within that first quarter, Waukee captured two special teams scores as Morrison once again took a punt return all the way, this time for 51 yards and capping off the first-quarter scoring.
Alex Linquist also had a hand in the first quarter scoring as he brought the game score to 40-0 following a 32-yard touchdown run. Linquist highlighted a strong rushing effort on the night which included eight different players earning at least one rushing attempt on the night. Linquist himself highlighted those efforts with his second-highest single-game output, 126 yards and two scores on seven rushing attempts. Senior Jack Eibes was close behind with 93 rushing yards and one score on nine attempts while Xzavier Moore added 81 rushing yards and one score on ten rushing attempts.
Linquist’s second score of the game opened up the second quarter scoring as the team and was solely responsible for the four-play, eighty-yard drive that ended in a nine-yard touchdown run. That was followed up with the first of two scores for Ottumwa that cut into Waukee’s lead 54-6. A Jakob Holcomb ten-yard touchdown run followed by a Xzavier Moore end-zone scamper put the game even further out of reach 68-6 heading into the third quarter.
The lone third-quarter score came from the visiting Bulldogs to make the score 68-12. However, a Jack Eibes eight-yard touchdown run with 5:15 left in the game overmatched that score and ended the game with the final score of 74-12. Along with being Waukee’s leading rusher on the night, Alex Linquist was also their leading receiver with ten yards on one reception. Overall, the passing game was non-existent from coach Scott Heitland and his offense. Mitch Randall had just one passing attempt which he completed for ten yards. Past that, it was all about the rushing attack.
While the Warrior offense suffered a season-high three turnovers, the Warrior defense doubled that up and more with seven forced turnovers, six of which were fumbles. The offense meanwhile continued on with 22 first downs (20 via rushing) while converting on 66 percent of fourth-down attempts. Overall a fairly clean game for Waukee with just five penalties for 40 yards.
Back on the defensive side of things, alongside their seven forced turnovers, Waukee produced over 11 tackles for loss and one sack. Leading the way in total tackles was junior Chase Evanson who accumulated eight tackles on the night, four of which were for a loss, not to mention the team’s lone sack on the night.
The win puts the Warriors over the .500 mark for the first time all season. They will head into the next week of action ranked 14th in the Class 4A RPI poll. Their chance to boost that mark and remain undefeated in district play will come this week as Waukee takes on their final home game of the 2019 season. They will be welcoming in 15th ranked Indianola for a critical district showdown. Waukee has taken the edge over Indianola with a 42-14 victory last season.
The district battle will begin at 7 p.m. from Waukee Stadium.