There was a lot on the line Friday, Oct. 25 as the Waukee football team was eyeing a postseason berth and a district title.
Within the final game of the regular season, the Warriors captured both in a 40-17 rout over Johnston. It was an efficient offensive attack for Waukee who totaled 343 yards of offense on just 46 total plays, nearly half of the plays run by Johnston. For the third straight game, the Warriors also scored at least two scores in three out of the four quarters.
Despite 80 yards worth of penalties, one of their season-high marks in punts (seven), and a mere 14 first downs, it was a game that never seemed out of reach for Waukee. A big boost to the strong offensive night came from junior Aaron Smith who found the end-zone four times in a variety of ways. Smith captured a receiving touchdown, a rushing touchdown, an interception return for a score, and a kickoff return for a score.
Despite the big night from Smith, it was Johnston to initiate the scoring for the night as they punched in the first quarters’ only score with 3:40 left in the quarter. Waukee answered back on a second-quarter score by Mitch Randall who drove in a 15-yard run to tie up the game with 6:36 left in the first half. Through the first half, it was actually quite the back and forth contest that continued on with a 39-yard field goal by Johnston to put the Dragons ahead 10-7 with 2:59 left before the halftime break.
That’s when the Aaron Smith show began and he and Randall connected on a 60-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 left before the half to give Waukee the last lead of the game 14-10. From there the lead would only increase for the Warriors, once again courtesy of Aaron Smith. The junior took the second-half opening kick-off and promptly deposited the ball into the endzone on a 99-yard touchdown scamper. That was one of two scores in the third quarter for the Warriors which also included a Mitch Randall four-yeard touchdown run. That would be the final score for the senior signal-caller who ended the night with 156 passing yards on four completions while also leading the team in rushing with 102 yards and two scores on 12 carries.
Johnston accounted for the final third-quarter score to cut Waukee’s lead down to 27-17 heading into the fourth quarter. Aaron Smith captured his third score of the game by intercepting a Johnston pass and took it to the house to increase Waukee’s lead 33-17. Smith added in one more score for good measure with a one-yard touchdown run to bring the score to its eventual final of 40-17.
The Warriors are now officially playoff-bound and will take on the first round of postseason play on Friday, Nov. 1 up against Cedar Rapids Prairie.