The Waterloo defense turned in a stellar performance during its home opener Friday night against Carbondale.
The ‘Dogs forced four early turnovers and after squandering the first few opportunities, the offense finally took advantage of miscues and some Carbondale penalties to roll to a 35-14 win on a chilly and misty night at WHS.
On the first play of the game, Waterloo’s Kersten Panzau picked off a Carbondale pass and the ‘Dogs offense was in business at the Terriers 15-yard line. Waterloo was held to a field goal try, but a bad snap resulted in no points.
Waterloo forced two more turnovers in the first quarter, but had nothing to show for it after being stopped on fourth and goal from the one and then missing another field goal on a bad snap.
“That first quarter, we had every opportunity to get points on the board but we just couldn’t get it in…” Waterloo head coach Dan Rose said. “We should have had 14, 17 or 21
points in that first quarter and came away with none.”
Waterloo put together a good drive early in the second quarter and took the lead on a 5-yard run by Vince Gagliardi. Ryan Aycock added the extra point and it was 7-0.
On Carbondale’s next possession, the Waterloo defense forced yet another turnover with Mitchell Gladney recovering a fumble, and the ‘Dogs were in great field position.
Rick Wiegand punched the ball in from the 3-yard line and Waterloo had a 14-0 lead.
Carbondale found its running game and put together a long drive to cut Waterloo’s lead to 14-7 with 1:24 to go in the first half.
“They pretty much pounded on us and got back in the game there,” Rose said.
Waterloo answered right back when quarterback Aaron Laskowski hit Aycock for a 30-yard TD pass in the final seconds before halftime, giving the home team a 21-7 lead at the break.
Waterloo opened the third quarter right where it left off. Following a 15-yard run by Laskowski to the 1-yard line, he took it in himself to put the ‘Dogs up 28-7.
Waterloo scored again on its next possession when Laskowski hit Nick Iorio for an 8-yard TD pass and Waterloo led 35-7.
The Waterloo defense kept the Carbondale offense in check all night, applying strong pressure on the QB and giving them very little running room.
“We created some turnovers tonight on defense. I like how we played,” Rose said of his defense.
Carbondale added a late TD in the fourth quarter as the ‘Dogs took the win, 35-14.
Laskowski rushed for 91 yards on 16 carries and a TD and was 6-for-11 passing for 91 yards and two TDs.
Wiegand rushed for 47 yards on 13 carries with a TD and Gagliardi rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries with a TD.
The Bulldogs (3-0) host Mississippi Valley Conference foe Mascoutah on Friday night.
(With additional reporting by Corey Saathoff)