(Greg Stanek photo)
Turnovers and penalties doomed Carbondale early Friday night at Waterloo, as the Bulldogs won in their home opener on a chilly, breezy and misty night, 35-14.
Waterloo’s first game at home followed thrilling road wins the past two weekends against state-ranked teams (Herrin, Columbia), and four Carbondale turnovers in their first five offensive possessions fueled the cheers of an already festive Bulldog crowd.
Carbondale’s first play on offense, a pass by quarterback Calvin Whitfield, was intercepted by Waterloo’s Kerstan Panzau. Terriers running back Shahere Lark lost a fumble on the next possession, and another lost fumble deep in their own territory gave Waterloo the ball on the Carbondale 9-yard line.
But the Bulldogs were unable to score any points off the early Carbondale miscues in what was a scoreless first quarter.
“We probably should’ve had 14, 17, or 21 points on the board and we came away with nothin’,” Waterloo head coach Dan Rose said after the game.
Waterloo got on the scoreboard on a 5-yard run by Vince Gagliardi early in the second quarter. It was a drive aided by facemask and offside penalties by the Terriers defense.
On the ensuing drive by Carbondale (0-3), Terriers wide receiver Tyler McCormick fumbled the ball and Waterloo’s Mitchell Gladney recovered at the Carbondale 16-yard line. Bulldogs running back Rick Wiegand capped off the drive with a 4-yard TD run to make it 14-0.
“Our defense created some turnovers and I like how they played,” Rose said.
The Terriers got back into the game on a quality drive late in the first half. Running back Djimon Slaughter racked up most of the yards in the sequence, and his 9-yard TD run at 1:24 made it a 14-7 game.
“They pretty much pounded on us and got back in the game there,” Rose said.
Waterloo (3-0) regained momentum to close out the half on a scintillating 30-yard TD pass from quarterback Aaron Laskowski to wide receiver Ryan Aycock in the right corner of the endzone and the Bulldogs led 21-7.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Waterloo scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Laskowski scored on a 1-yard run at 8:41 in the third, and then threw an 8-yard TD pass to Nick Iorio at 3:31 to make it 35-7.
Carbondale scored a late fourth quarter touchdown on an 8-yard pass from Whitfield to running back Sidney Ousley.
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 host Mississippi Valley Conference foe Mascoutah next Friday.
Read more on Friday’s game in the Sept. 17 edition of the Republic-Times newspaper.
(with additional reporting from Greg Stanek)