Despite an early first quarter scare, the Waukee High School football team was in full control of their round one playoff game, matching up with Cedar Rapids Prairie in Waukee.
In front of their hometown fans, the Warriors overcame an early 7-0 deficit with a 45-15 route over Prairie. While Waukee produced one of their largest offensive outputs of the season with 568 total yards, the defense limited Prairie to one of their lowest marks of 195 yards of total offense. With the help of a significant ground game that accounted for over 67 percent of the total offensive output, the Warriors were able to average over ten yards per play through 53 plays from scrimmage.
Prairie put an early scare into the Warriors as they put Waukee in a 7-0 hole with 10:03 yet to play in the first quarter. Just over four minutes later, Cade Tjaden connected on his fifth made field goal of the season to cut the deficit down to 7-3. That’s when the Warriors began their scoring spree and continued on with Xzavier Moore’s third end-zone connection on a 75-yard touchdown run. Following their first and only needed lead of the game, Mitch Randall joined the fray and added a 14-yard rushing touchdown into the fold to increase the Warrior lead 17-7 with just over a minute left in the first quarter. It was another strong outing from the senior signal-caller who completed 12-of-21 passing attempts for 183 yards and a score. Meanwhile, he also outpaced the entire game with 213 yards and two scores rushing the ball. Randall’s rushing total alone eclipsed that of Prairie’s team total mark of 195 offensive yards.
Junior Aaron Smith had quite a follow up to his four-score game a week prior. Smith punched in a score from four yards out, increasing Waukee’s lead now 24-7. It was then back to senior Mitch Randall who connected on his 14th passing score of the season for Waukee’s next score. On the receiving end of that toss was fellow senior Sam O’Dell who helped bring the score to a 31-7 Waukee advantage.
Waukee made sure to snuff out any wind in the sails of Prairie as they quickly answered a third-quarter score with one of their own with 9:25 left in the game. That came on a 67-yard run which marked one of the longest rushing scores for Randall throughout his career. Waukee’s final score of the game came with 4:36 left in the game as Aaron Smith delivered on his sixth rushing score of the season with a three-yard touchdown run. That put the Warriors up 45-15 which they would then ride out until the end for the win.
The win gives Waukee their seventh straight and overall win of the 2019 season and the right to advance in postseason play. The Warriors totaled 385 yards on the ground with 183 through the air. Randall led the way both through the air and on the ground. Along with his aerial game, Randall collecting 213 yards on the ground for a pair of scores. Sam O’Dell paced the team in receiving with 140 yards and one score on six receptions. Up next for the Warriors will be a second-round match-up in Des Moines as they tangle with non-district foe the West Des Moines Valley Tigers. Kick-off for that game is scheduled at 7 p.m.