MASCOUTAH — In the mind of Waterloo football coach Dan Rose and a large enthusiastic group of Bulldogs' faithful who made the 30-mile trek to Mascoutah on Friday, it will be simply remembered as "the stand."
Sparked by a strong defensive stand to end the first half, Waterloo tallied 21 unanswered points in the final two quarters and went on for a 28-14 win over Mascoutah in a Mississippi Valley Conference game.
Trailing 14-7 following a pair of touchdown runs by Indians sophomore Misikei Thomsen, the Bulldogs were on the verge of going down two scores when the Indians marched inside the Waterloo 10-yard line in the closing two minutes of the first half.
But the Bulldogs defense held tight and when Indians kicker Austin Waugh missed a 22-yard field goal, the Bulldogs had an emotional lift and the momentum.
"You've heard of a game-changing play. Well that might have been a season-changing play. We needed the defense to come up big in that situation and those kids came up with a great effort,'' Rose said. "We're down 14-7 at that time and if they (Mascoutah) goes up two scores, they've got all the momentum coming out for the second half.
"With that defensive stop, we had the momentum."
The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0) also had quarterback Zach Schaab who threw for 254 yards -- 152 of which came in the second half -- and two touchdowns as Waterloo took control in the third quarter and never looked back.
Schaab threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Reid Hoffmann with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left to break a 14-all tie. The pass play from Schaab-to-Hoffman was their second connection in less than 90 seconds, following a 45-yard completion which took the ball inside the Indians 40.
Mascoutah (2-2, 1-1) got the ball back, but on the first play scrimmage following the touchdown the Indians turned the ball over.
Waterloo then iced the game with 2:31 left on a 3-yard scoring run by Steven Schad.
"We just made a couple of mistakes. The drive before the end of the half was big because if we go in there, we're up 21-7 at halftime. Their (Waterloo's) defense just stopped us,'' Indians coach Scott Battas said. "I thought we did some good things on both sides of the football.
"We just came up short on the drive and it cost us."
Still riding a high after the defensive stop to end the second quarter, Waterloo got another break when a poor Indians kickoff gave them excellent field position.
Taking full advantage of the miscue, Waterloo marched down the field, Schaab capping the drive when he threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Austin Campbell with 9:55 left in the third quarter to tie it at 14.
"How many yards did he (Schaab) have,'' Rose said. "I don't know if I'd say we dominated up front in the second half, because Mascoutah is pretty good. But our line did good and we did a nice job of executing.''