A promising start to the season ultimately ended in disappointment for the Waterloo High School football squad.
The Bulldogs lost at home Friday on senior night to Freeburg, 24-14, to complete a 3-6 season.
Waterloo went 2-1 to begin its fall 2021 campaign, including victories over Columbia and Carbondale. But the Bulldogs dropped five of their last six games on the schedule.
As usual, Waterloo faced a tough schedule this season. Eight of the team’s nine opponents made the playoffs.
On Friday night, Freeburg took a 21-0 lead before the Bulldogs mounted a late comeback with two scores.
Waterloo had trouble holding onto the ball on offense, with Freeburg’s defense recording three interceptions and three fumble recoveries on the night.
Freeburg quarterback Landon Funderburg scored on a one-yard run for the game’s only first quarter points. Funderburg then threw a 32-yard TD pass to put Freeburg up 14-0 late in the second quarter.
A 68-yard TD run by Eli Hoerner gave Freeburg a three-score edge midway through the third quarter before Waterloo’s Jack McFarlane caught a 12-yard TD pass from quarterback Aidan Morrow to get the Bulldogs on the board.
Evan Davis, who rushed for 102 yards on the night, just reached the pylon on a 10-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to make it 21-14.
But Freeburg sealed the deal on a 20-yard field goal with just more than two minutes remaining.
McFarlane finished with 84 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving in his final game for Waterloo.
Morrow went 9-of-17 passing for 88 yards with a TD and three interceptions.
On defense, Waterloo’s Wyatt Fink recorded a sack, interception and fumble recovery.
Waterloo was the lowest scoring team in the Mississippi Valley Conference by one point to Jerseyville, but did outscore opponents this season overall to the tune of 240-236.
While Waterloo loses several seniors from this year’s squad to graduation, key returners in 2022 will include Morrow, Davis and Fink.
Morrow threw for 885 yards and seven TDs this season. He ran for two more scores.
Davis finished with just under 1,000 total yards (946 rushing, 51 receiving) and 13 TDs on the season.
Fink collected six sacks on the season to go along with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.