In perhaps one of the biggest upsets all year, the Waukee football team stunned the high school football world by taking down sixth ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie on the road.
It was an offensive and defensive showcase that witnessed the Warriors pour out a season high 480 yards of total offense en rout to a 33-6 win.
It was another balanced attack that featured just about equal scoring though both the passing and running games for the Warriors. Waukee’s gunslinger in quarterback Mitch Randall had yet another clean and productive night and he did it very efficiently. Randall totaled 132 yards through the air complete with two touchdowns on just seven-of-eleven passing attempts. The junior star now has seven total touchdowns through the air. The biggest benefactors of his aerial greatness came in the form of Zach Eaton who hauled in 101 yards and both receiving touchdowns on just five receptions.
As great as the passing game was though, it was the ground game that not only did the dirty work, but also got the recognition of three touchdowns. The Warrior rushing attack totaled 15 of the total 25 first downs made and amassed 348 total yards. As a team the Warrior rushing attack recorded an average of seven yards per rush. All that equated to three touchdowns on the ground. With Blake Espeland still sidelined with injury, Sam Yeaway stepped up and he did so in a tremendous way. The senior rushed his way into 229 yards on 23 carries and scored two of the three rushing scores. Yeaway ended the night averaging ten yards per carry. The other rushing score came from Randall who brought in 63 total rushing yards on 15 total carries.
The scoring started late in the first quarter and it started through the air as Randall connected on a 28 yard pass to Zach Eaton with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Prairie then equalized the game a minute into the first half but the tie ball game would be broken just five minutes later on Mitch Randall’s second passing touchdown of the game on a twelve yard strike to Zach Eaton. With the extra point blocked, both teams would go into the halftime break with Waukee leading 13-6.
The second half is where both defensive and offensive dominance would come out in full force for the Warriors starting with a second half opening touchdown capped off by a three yard score from Yeaway. With the two point conversion no good, that brought the score 19-6 in favor of Waukee. Yeayway would find the end zone once more in the third quarter with five minutes left on a 40 yard scamper to increase the Waukee lead 26-6. From there, Mitch Randall would deliver the final blow in the fourth quarter on a one yard run, giving Waukee the lead and eventual game winner, 33-6.
It was a true David vs. Goliath match-up and just like it played out so long ago, Waukee took the underdog role and earned the win, and in the process, found something else.
“It was a great feeling to get the win,” began Warrior head coach Scott Carlson. “We’ve been trying to find that identity as a team and who we are. Most teams are still trying to find what works best for them but I felt for the most part our kids did a great job of that Friday.”
Defensively, the Warriors held the potent Prairie offense who averaged 35 points per game last year and has averaged 45 points per game through two games this year, to just six total points and 267 yards of total offense. Cole Spyksma led the way in tackles for the Warriors with six total and five solo tackles on the night. He was followed by Aaron Smith and Zach Eaton, both with five tackles a piece, and Caleb Paulus with four tackles.
Even with all the effort, skill, and execution, the biggest key to success as mentioned coach Carlson.
“When facing a team like Cedar Rapids Prairie who can throw so many things at a defense, the best thing you can do as a coaching staff is to prepare your team,” began Carlson. “Prairie throws a lot at a defense and I thought our guys did a great job at preparing for the game. They weren’t confused in what they saw and they stuck to their assignments and that was big for the win.”
Outside of the defense, there was a team wide aspect that really had coach Carlson excited for the future.
“I thought a key factor for us was the depth of our team,” said Carlson. “We had Sam Yeaway fill in for Espeland and provided us with another big weapon going forward. Overall I felt our depth provided us with fresher legs in the second half which I felt helped us wear down Prairie just enough.”
As a result of their win against Cedar Rapids Prairie, the Warrior football team has climbed to the sixth spot in the latest BCMoore Class 4A rankings. Next up on the docket for the Warriors will be the ever exciting match up against West Des Moines Valley, a team who defeated Waukee last year by a 29-21 final. This time out though, it will be on the Warriors home turf, and the game will begin with kick off at 7 p.m.