Waterloo and Columbia met in their annual Route 3 rivalry football game Friday night at Waterloo High School. For only the second time in the past six seasons, the Eagles walked away the victors, winning 31-12.
Although the victory was by double digits, the score wasn’t indicative of how close the game ultimately was played.
Columbia quarterback Drew Huebner and wide-out Chris Wagner shined for the Eagles. The duo hooked up two times in the game. In the first quarter, they connected on a 3-yard pass for the game’s first score. Columbia went up 7-0 with 5:45 left in the quarter.
Wagner was all over the field. On the ensuing Waterloo possession, Wagner picked off quarterback Aaron Laskowski’s pass.
On a drive that extended into the second quarter, Huebner found Wagner again — this time on an 18-yard screen pass, which let Wagner shed tackles and gallop into the end zone for the score. Columbia went up 14-0.
Waterloo’s offense struggled in the first half.Waterloo’s Kyle Knefelkamp is able to break free for a TD in the fourth quarter. (Spencer Michelson photo)
In the half’s last possession, the Bulldogs defense got a much-needed stop. With 2.7 seconds remaining, the Eagles were inches away from Waterloo’s goal line on fourth down. Instead of taking a 21-0 lead into the half, the ‘Dogs defense held strong and kept the Eagles from taking all the momentum into halftime.
In the third quarter, though, Columbia got on the board quick. Three minutes into the half, on fourth down and 4 at midfield, Kenny Fields broke through the Waterloo defense for a first down. Instead of Waterloo ball, possession stayed with the Eagles. Later on the drive, Huebner threw his third TD of the game — this time to Jonathan Homes for a 4-yard catch. Columbia led 21-0 with 6:15 left in the third.
Waterloo’s offense answered on the next possession. An 80-yard drive was capped with a 2-yard rushing TD by Max Jennings, his third of the season. After a failed point-after attempt, Waterloo trailed 21-6.
Waterloo’s defense then held the Eagles to a three-and-out. But, on third and long with time expiring in the third, Columbia’s Jordan Holmes picked off Laskowski’s pass.
The Eagles’ drive resulted in a 29-yard field goal by Greg Long to extend the lead to 24-6 with 8:04 left to play.
Waterloo answered on the next drive with a TD as Laskowski found Kyle Knefelkamp for the score. But, after a failed two-point conversion, Columbia led 24-12 with 3:43 left. Waterloo attempted an onside kick, which failed.
The Eagles finished of the game with another TD with 1:30 remaining. Huebner, on a QB-keeper, ran 15 yards into the end zone to give the Eagles a 31-12 lead — the final score of the game.
In other action, Dupo lost to Breese Central, 59-0. The Tigers were held to just two yards on offense and one first down.
For a full recap, plus insight from the coaches, pick up a copy of the Sept. 9 newspaper. Keep up with Friday night lights by following the Republic-Times on Facebook and Twitter.