by – Mike Stetson
FOREST CITY, Iowa – The Warriors put on the kind of show you can only hope for in a home debut.
Big plays on offense, defensive scores, and a fan-thrilling 58-7 victory at Bolstorff Field by the Waldorf football team over visiting Presentation on Saturday in North Star Athletic Association play.
“We played as a collective unit today, everybody did their job; couldn’t be happier with my team,” Warrior quarterback Taylen Alexander said.
Alexander threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading the way for the Warriors who also got defensive touchdowns by Tyler Dennis and Wayne Parrish, and a safety by Drew Buckholdt.
“We did a great job in all three phases of the game and scored in all aspects,” Waldorf head coach Will Finley said. “I told the team I’m so proud of them and I love seeing them compete.”
Waldorf came out on fire, taking the lead on its first defensive touchdown of the day when Tyler Dennis blocked a Presentation punt in the end zone and jumped on the ball with 6 minutes, 42 seconds gone in the game.The Warrior defense continued to set the tone from there as Drew Buckholdt tackled Saints running back Innocent Okoh in the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 lead with 5:13 left in the first session.
“Defense forced turnovers and made big stops,” Finely said. “It was a good team effort.”
Waldorf’s offense then went to work, blowing the game open with more big plays as Alexander threw a 39-yard touchdown strike to Ryan Martinez with 11:13 left until halftime, then Alexander threw a 61-yard bomb to Dominick Watt for a 23-0 lead with 6:42 left in the second quarter.
“We got playmakers out there like that, all you want to do is get ‘em the ball,” said Alexander, who finished the game completing 9-of-19 for 172 yards and those two scores before resting most of the fourth quarters.
“Our offense did a great job of spreading things out and getting the ball in the hands of multiple receivers,” Finley added. “I think Coach (Brody) Rohach called a very good game.”
Waldorf (2-1 overall, 2-1 NSAA) wasn’t done, though, as Jatoviay Hill made it 30-0 before the break, rushing up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown on the Warriors very next possession.
Then it was the Warrior defense’s turn once again as Keyon Hodges tipped a pass on the third play of the second half and teammate Wayne Parrish grabbed the ball out of the air and quickly raced 14 yards for a touchdown and a 37-0 lead.
The pick-6 was the second of the young season for Parrish, and virtually iced the win for Waldorf with almost a full half left to play.
“Defense did a great job today; they kept us in great field position all game, they gave us three scores, you can’t complain with that effort,” Alexander said.
J.J. Harrell added 4-yard touchdown run for the Warriors midway through the third quarter, and Alexander scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 54 seconds gone in the fourth quarter gave the hosts a commanding 51-0 lead.
“Having the full team go on all cylinders today was a lot of fun,” Finley said. “We know what this team is capable of and are excited for what’s coming.”
The lone bright spot of the day for the Saints (0-3, 0-3) came just moments later as Hunter Griffrow broke free for a 59-yard touchdown run, Presentation’s first touchdown of the season.
Waldorf answered with one final score as Tyler O’Hara tossed a 26-yard scoring strike to Malik Adams to cap the 58-7 victory.
A win that sends Waldorf back onto the road with momentum as the Warriors next play at Dakota State next Saturday.