Opening statement: Waukon routs Decorah 36-7

Posted: Sat, Sept 1, 2019 11:23 PM
Waukon running back Dawson Baures heads towards the sidelines to dodge Vikings defenders in Waukons 36-7 win (photos taken and story written by Decorahnews.com's own Dirk Umbanhowar)

The Decorah Viking football team entered Friday night with a tough task in front of them as they squared off against the Waukon Indians, a 2018 Class 2A semifinalist and the number one team in Class 2A entering this year, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazettes rankings. Overcoming that challenge ended up to be too much, as two touchdowns by Waukon senior running back Dawson Baures led the Indians to a 36-7 drubbing of Decorah in which the Vikings looked overmatched and outplayed on both sides of the ball.

Waukon took control of the game from the first drive to the last, beginning with a long drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown by Bauers, followed by an Ethan O'Neil run on a toss play to make it 8-0 Waukon. The key play of the drive came on a fourth down and short conversion on a good throw by the Indians' junior quarterback, Creed Welch. Decorah could not answer the Waukon drive, going three and out on their first series.

The second quarter brought a lot more action for both teams. Bauers began the quarter with a 39-yard touchdown catch over the middle from Welch. Waukon converted the two-point try to take a 16-0 lead with 11:10 to go before half. After the Vikings offense went three and out again, the Indians went on another quick scoring drive, capped off by an 10-yard touchdown pass from Welch to senior receiver Brock Hatlan for six, with another successful two-point try bringing Waukon's lead to 24-0. After going down 30-0 on Hatlan recovering a Baures fumble in the end zone, two big catches by Vikings receivers Matthew Franzen and Tucker Young got Decorah inside Waukon's five yard line. The drive would be capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by senior Andrew Magner on 3rd and goal, with the extra point making it 30-7 in favor of Waukon. The Vikings would have one more chance at points before the half following a recovery on the onside kickoff, but the drive would stall inside the red zone, and Decorah's Gabriel Austin hooked what would have been a 31-yard field goal wide right.

Both teams defenses would clamp down coming out of halftime, with neither team scoring in the third quarter. The teams not only traded stops, but turnovers. Following Decorah stopping Waukon on fourth down in Vikings territory, Indians defensive lineman Tanner Mitchell intercepted a Briggs Duwe pass, bringing the ball back to Decorah's eleven yard line. On the very next play, Waukon appeared to be easily on its way to another score until Cael Luzum's hit on Baures caused a fumble that the Vikings would recover around their own five yard line.

The fourth quarter was much of the same, with the lone score coming on Waukon running back Ethan O'Neil's 19-yard touchdown scamper up the middle to make the score 36-7 in favor of Waukon. Decorah would have some more drives, but both ended in failures to convert on fourth down. Both teams backups did see playing time in the final minutes of the game.

The win puts Waukon at 1-0, while the Vikings are at 0-1 on the 2019 campaign. The Vikings' next game will be on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at home against Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Senior reciever Matthew Franzen (87) turns up field after shaking off a Waukon defender
Vikings quarterback Tucker Young (11) takes off and runs during the first quarter on Friday
Decorah's offensive line faces off against Waukon's defensive line during Friday's action
Decorah defenders try to chase down Waukon's Brock Hatlan (8) on the opening kickoff of the season Friday night