Waterloo’s Rick Wiegand runs the ball against Civic Memorial on Friday night.(Greg Stanek photo)
The Waterloo High School football team stormed out to a quick 21-0 lead, then had to rally in the second half after letting host team Civic Memorial get back in the game before pulling away in the end Friday night, 47-27.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 5-0 on the season (2-0 in Mississippi Valley Conference) and became playoff eligible.
Waterloo’s Rick Wiegand ripped off a 59-yard run on the first play of the game and later scored from 1 yard out to put the ‘Dogs up early. The Bulldogs scored on their next two possessions — on a 1-yard run by quarterback Aaron Laskowski and an 18-yard pass from Laskowski to Mitchell Gladney — and looked to be rolling to an easy win.
Civic Memorial took advantage of three Waterloo turnovers in the second quarter to claw their way back into the game, cutting the Waterloo lead to 27-20 at halftime.
“We came out of the gate strong. Then they got a turnover and a big play and then another turnover and a big play and suddenly they are right back in the game,” Waterloo head coach Dan Rose said. “Civic plays hard at home. It doesn’t matter what their record is, they are hard to play on their field.”
The Eagles came out of the locker room and took the opening drive of the third quarter in for the score to tie the game, 27-27.
But Waterloo swung the momentum back their way midway through the third, when Kerstan Panzau picked off a pass and the Bulldogs were in business at the Civic Memorial 41. It was Panzau’s fourth interception in the past two games.
Waterloo took the lead on another Wiegand TD, but the extra point was no good and Waterloo led 33-27.
CM drove to the Waterloo 17-yard line on their next possession, but the Bulldogs defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Eagles on fourth down to hold onto their slim lead.
Following a 44-yard run from Max Jennings deep into Eagles territory, Wiegand scored from the 1-yard line to put Waterloo up 41-27 with 7:32 to go.
Waterloo added another late score on a Jennings run to take the win, 47-27.
“The key is we came close, but we didn’t fold. We started making plays in the second half after we adjusted,” Rose said. “Credit to the kids for not giving up. Credit to Civic for not giving up. We didn’t panic and played like we knew we were capable of and we are 5-0 now.”