DAVENPORT, Iowa – Sometimes things aren’t the way it seems. It seemed like Waldorf was going to race away from St. Ambrose University here on Saturday night in their second football game of the fall. The Fighting Bees had different plans, scoring 17 unanswered points to take a second-half lead on the back of four Waldorf turnovers and 11 penalties. Waldorf, though, got their playmaker involved to beat St. Ambrose 24-17 for the first time in school history.
The Warriors (2-0) got the offense started when former West Hancock prep MaCoy Yeakel picked off Bees (1-1) quarterback Tom Casey and returned it 59-yards to the 9-yard line, later setup Jatoviay Hill for a 1-yard rush.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, Waldorf capped off an eight-play 97-yard drive when quarterback Jordan Cooper scrambled out of the pocket under pressure for a 31-yard touchdown.
Following halftime, the comeback was on.
St. Ambrose took the opening drive of the third quarter and marched 65-yards in less than two minutes, and scored. Tom Casey completed a pass to Blake Wittman for a 20-yard score.
With 1:26 left in the third quarter, Waldorf all put let St. Ambrose have the tying score when Zach Morel fumbled at the Waldorf 16-yard line, and the first play from scrimmage, Casey passed compete to the Waldorf three. The Waldorf defense stood tall and stopped the Bees for three straight plays from the 3-yard line forcing St. Ambrose to settle for a field goal, and Waldorf held onto the lead, 14-10.
Coach Will Finley on the defensive stop.
St. Ambrose didn’t take long to come back and finally take the lead, though. They forced Waldorf’s offense three and out, putting the defense right back onto the field, and St. Ambrose took advantage. The Fighting Bees marched the short field in just under three minutes and scored on a Tom Casey pass to Sam Kerr for 3-yards and a 17-14 lead.
Coach Will Finley on what you say to a team up 14, but then goes down after 17 unanswered.
Waldorf’s ensuing drive was sparked by Dominick Watt, who returned the kick 25-yards, and Waldorf started their drive at their own 36-yard line. And four plays later, Jordan Cooper hit his playmaker, Watt, for 59-yards to the St. Ambrose 10-yard line. Just one player later, Cooper found Watt again, this time for 9-yards and the winning score.
Watt on the score. He was nearly tackled but spun around on one foot to stay up and keep running.
Waldorf got the ball back with just over six minutes in the game, trying to soak the clock. They drove 44 yards taking over 4 minutes and nearly scored, but PJ Patterson was called for a false start on fourth and one from the 1-yard line, forcing the Warriors to kick a 23-yard field goal, Slater Gifford made easily giving Waldorf a 24-17 lead. St. Ambrose took over needing a touchdown in 1:33. The Bees did move the football, but it was once again, Kanawha Iowa’s own, Yeakel, who grabbed his second pick of the game to win it.
Coach Finley on the win.
Waldorf was 0-11 against St. Ambrose all-time, dating back to 2003 when the teams met every year until 2013. This was the first meeting since 2013. In those 11 losses, Waldorf was outscored by St. Ambrose 573-67. The closest game they played was a 24-7 loss in 2006.
Waldorf enters their bye week 2-0, the first time they have been 2-0 since 2014. When they return to the field on the 18th, It doesn’t get easier for the Warriors, who are on the road the entire month of September. They now travel to Valley City, North Dakota, to take on Valley City State, also starting season 2-0. The Vikings kicked a game-winning 40-yard field to beat Concordia College-Moorhead on Saturday and have a bye week next week to prepare for the opening of conference play.
Watt on how the team needs to prepare for Valley City State.
Valley is currently receiving votes in the national poll and was picked to finish one spot higher than Waldorf in coaches preseason rankings.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at [email protected] or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. You will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians’ flagship station throughout the year.