Columbia capitalized on Waterloo turnovers and penalties with big plays to down its football rival at home Friday night, 27-10.
The Eagles dazzled the home crowd with a nifty double pass play from quarterback Greg Long to Jordan Holmes to Mitch Daniels for 80 yards that led to a touchdown catch by Holmes on the next play and gave Columbia a 20-10 lead late in the third quarter.
“It was a good call, wasn’t it?” Columbia head coach Scott Horner said after the game. “Guess what? I didn’t make it. It was (Scott) Germain, defensive coordinator. He said, ‘run your diamond.’ We put that in yesterday, by the way.”
Long threw for three TDs — all to Holmes — and ran for another score. He also nabbed two interceptions on defense for Columbia, which improved to 2-0. As a team, the Eagles picked off Waterloo quarterback Ross Schrader four times.
“I challenge the kids all the time. In a game like this, somebody’s got to step up and make plays,” Horner said. “Hey, they did it.”
Waterloo head coach Dan Rose was unavailable for comment after the game because he was ejected by the head referee early in the fourth quarter. The Waterloo sideline voiced frustration with the officiating crew and it eventually boiled over into two personal foul penalties called against Waterloo and Rose’s ejection.
With a large crowd on hand, it was Waterloo that started the scoring in this highly anticipated matchup. After Long intercepted Schrader to end a Bulldogs drive, Waterloo defender Noah Comstock picked off a pass from Long and took it in for the TD to give Waterloo the 7-0 lead at 7:04 of the first quarter.
Columbia answered with a solid drive that featured the running of Colton Byrd — who finished with 94 yards rushing — and a 20-yard reception by Holmes before Long ran it in from a yard out, and it was 7-7 at 3:05 of the first quarter. Columbia’s drive was aided by a facemask penalty called against the Bulldogs.
An interception by Daniels and return to midfield led to a 52-yard TD pass from Long to Holmes that made it a 14-7 lead for the Eagles near the end of the first quarter.
The teams traded punts for much of the second quarter, but back-to-back quarterback sacks by Waterloo’s Seth Benard pinned the Eagles deep in their own territory. The Bulldogs received great field position as a result, and the running of Scott Nanney and Dalton Viglasky pushed the ‘Dogs to the verge of a tying score. Austin Patton made a crucial first down catch to keep the drive alive, but Waterloo was unable to find the endzone and settled for a field goal to make it 14-10 at halftime.
A holding penalty stalled a promising drive by the Bulldogs to start the third quarter. On the ensuing drive, the Eagles pulled out their bag of tricks with the double pass play that took the wind out of Waterloo’s sails.
Aided by the two personal foul penalties called against the Waterloo sideline, Columbia tacked on another Long-to-Holmes TD that made it 27-10 midway through the fourth quarter and basically put the game away.
Liam Knox added a late interception by the Eagles, who will play at Dupo next week.
Waterloo (1-1) will play its home opener against Carbondale next Friday.
Read more on the game in the Sept. 7 print issue.