Bus troubles might have delayed the game, but not even that stopped the Warriors on Saturday.
The Waldorf football team unleashed another offensive onslaught, and added a defensive domination, rolling to a 55-14 win over host Mayville State in North Star Athletic Association play.
“Starting out 2-0 in conference is a good thing,” Waldorf head coach Josh Littrell said. “Again, we get to enjoy another win this week as we prepare for Dickinson State, another big home game.”
The Warriors (2-3 overall, 2-0 NSAA) now return home to host No. 18 Dickinson State in an early-season battle for the lead in the NSAA.
But to earn that first-place battle, first Waldorf had to overcome a long road trip and a feisty foe in the Comets.
Bus troubles started what could have been a tough day, delaying the Warriors arrival at the field, and kick-off.
“Our kids could have shut down mentally, but they didn’t, they stayed engaged,” Littrell said.
Driven to win, the Warriors came out and set the tone as DeShaun Quinn grabbed an early fumble for visitors, who then took the lead on their second possession of the day.
Given a short, 32-yard field after a poor punt, Hilton Joseph connected with Ryan Martinez for a 14-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
Bo Evans then put his stamp on the game, ripping off a 79-yard touchdown run on the Warriors very next possession for a 14-0 edge.
Looking to put the game away early, Waldorf scored midway through the second quarter as Joseph and Martinez connected once again, this time for an 18-yard score to cap a 75-yard drive that put the Warriors on top 21-0.
After the host Comets (1-4, 0-2) spoiled the shutout, Joseph and Martinez connected one more time – this one a 19-yard scoring toss – sending the road Warriors into the locker room in command on top 28-7.
“We took advantage of our advantage on the outside,” Littrell said as Martinez and fellow Warrior wide-out Don Jones combined for 12 catches, 238 yards and five TDs on the day. “Our outside receivers played really well; our receivers as a whole played really well.”
All the Warriors did, so well in fact that Waldorf rested starting quarterback, Joseph, for the second half, and gave starting running back Bo Evans much of the final 30 minutes off, as well.
Yet the Warriors didn’t miss a beat as Edward Dominguez threw a 35-yard TD pass to Jones for a 34-7 edge, then Marcel Linder added a 48-yard fumble return for a touchdown for a 41-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Tyler O’Hara – the third Warrior QB on the day – added one more TD toss, connecting with Jones from 21 yards out, then Dominguez scrambled in from 7 yards away for the final score of Waldorf’s dominating day.
A day dedicated to Charlie, Rowen and Max Vertin, all of whom are fighting Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“The kids played their butts off today for Max, Rowen and Charlie,” Littrell said. “It was so nice to be able to get a win for a great cause.”
In all, the Warriors racked up 491 yards on offense led by Jones (123 yards) and Martinez (115 yards), who each had six catches. Evans added 124 yards rushing on just nine carries, while Joseph and Dominguez both were dynamic under center as Joseph was 10-of-16 for 138 yards and Dominguez went 9-of-16 for 148 yards.
Defensively, Daequan Nelson led the Warriors with nine tackles, while Linder had seven tackles and a fumble recovery, Cameron Newsome and MaCoy Yeakel each had five tackles and an interception, and Quinn added four tackles and a fumble recovery.
“Defense was hitting people all game,” Littrell said. “That’s the best I’ve seen our defense just fly around and hit people, so that was nice to see.”