WATERLOO — For senior running back Camren Shewfelt and his Columbia teammates, there's nothing better than a hard-fought win over your archrival.
Shewfelt ran for three touchdowns as the Eagles beat the Waterloo Bulldogs 19-13 Friday night.
The Eagles (2-0) snapped a four-game losing streak against the Bulldogs (1-1).
"Out of my three years on the varsity level, this is it, this is the first one we won," Shewfelt said. "I am so happy for my teammates. I thank every one of them for being on my side."
Shewfelt had touchdown runs of 2, 1 and 1 yards. He finished with 87 yards on 26 carries.
"That's going to be our style all year long," Columbia coach Scott Horner said of his team having more of a ground-control offense than a big-play offense this season. "We don't have a ton of big-play guys out there. We just have to do the little things right. We have to control the line of scrimmage, we have to run the football. That's the name of the game for us."
The Bulldogs gave the Eagles a short field on offense with a blocked punt, an interception and a fumble on a punt return.
The Eagles converted all three of those miscues into touchdowns.
"It's a hard lesson learned," Waterloo coach Dan Rose said. "We gave Herrin a short field and our defense was able to hold them out. We gave them (Columbia) the short field, and we simply can't do that. We absolutely have to take care of those issues."
A turnover and a bad snap on a punt by the Bulldogs helped the Bulldogs grab a quick 10-0 lead.
"It certainly didn't start the way we drew it up, but we don't have a lot of kids who played in a game like this on a Friday night," Horner said. "With the little number of returnees we have, we just had to settle in a little bit, and I think we did a good job of that after the first quarter.'
Alex Schultheis intercepted Columbia quarterback Jacob Hill's first pass attempt of the game, giving the Bulldogs possession of the ball at the Columbia 25.
Zach Schaab threw a 24-yard pass to Austin Campbell and then scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper.
The Eagles were forced to punt on their second possession, and Hill's knee hit the ground at the Columbia 17 as he fielded a low snap.
The Bulldogs ended up with a 36-yard field goal from Ryan Aycock to go up 10-0 with 7:58 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs wouldn't score again in the game.
"Sometimes that's the kiss of death," Rose said of taking a quick lead. "It's hard because you get those 10 points and the other team regroups and you're sitting on your heels because you have a 10-point lead."
The Eagles blocked a punt by the Bulldogs after a low snap in the second quarter.
The Eagles got the ball the Waterloo 15. Three plays later, Shewfelt put the Eagles on the scoreboard with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Columbia's Zach Mathews jumped in front of the intended receiver to intercept a pass, leading to a 1-yard touchdown run by Shewfelt with 40 seconds left in the second quarter. The extra-point kick was blocked by Waterloo's Jeremy Rettig.
A fumble on a punt return gave the Eagles the field position to pad their lead to 19-10 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Shewfelt with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Aycock booted a 25-yard field as the Bulldogs closed the gap to 19-13 with 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs got the ball back at their own 48 with 1:46 to go, but their final drive stalled at the Columbia 40, and the Eagles were able to run out the clock.
Horner said the win should give his team a boost of confidence heading into Cahokia Conference play.
"It's really good for our psyche, especially going into our conference,'' Horner said. "You beat a school bigger than you in a game that many will say that Columbia is not suppose to win at times. Our kids believe that they are going to win, and that's what it takes.''
Contact reporter Steve Korte at email@example.com or 239-2522.