While Waterloo moved the ball well throughout the night Friday, it was Columbia’s big-play potential that helped carry the Eagles to victory in the annual Route 3 Rivalry game.
Quarterback Drew Huebner threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another TD as Columbia overwhelmed Waterloo 31-12 before an overflow crowd that had people searching for any open ground available to park their cars.
“It’s the Monroe County rivalry, it doesn’t get much better than this,” said Columbia senior Chris Wagner, who caught two touchdown passes and added an interception, all in the first half. “When you come down here and beat the guys right down the road, it means everything. Especially when you know all thse guys and you’ve played against them your whole life.
It just means the world, especially as a senior too.”
Columbia coach Scott Horner, who picked up his 100th career win with the Eagles (2-0) and 101st overall, praised his team for its numerous times with game-changing plays.
“We knew it wouldn’t be (easy), it’s the Waterloo-Columbia game,” Horner said. “Our kids clawed and fought and I’m proud of them for that. At times it maybe wasn’t as pretty as we would have liked it to be.”
With Waterloo (0-2) trailing 14-0 at halftime and driving early in the third quarter, the Bulldogs were stopped on fourth-and-1 at their own 44. Columbia’s Colton Byrd hauled down Waterloo back Max Jennings, one of several big plays by the defense.
The Eagles also picked off Waterloo quarterback Aaron Laskowski three times.
“We had some big-play potential and I think that helped us,” Horner said. “Defensively we’d bend (and) we’d bend but we didn’t break.”
Along with Wagner’s big night, Eagles senior Lamont Read hauled in three receptions for 127 yards while running back Kenny Fields ran the ball 25 times for 140 yards.
Columbia senior Jonathan Holmes caught a TD pass and also had an interception while younger brother Jordan Holmes added an interception and nullified a 2-point conversion attempt.
Jennings had 126 yards and one TD on 26 carries for Waterloo and the Bulldogs had 226 yards of rushing. Laskowski also threw an 18-yard TD pass to Kyle Knefelkamp.
SCOTT HORNER ON CHRIS WAGNER
“He didn’t touch the ball one time against Wood River in Week 1 and I said there’s got to be a way I can get you the ball in your hands, because he’s a playmaker for us. We’ve known that and he’s been doing it since he was a sophomore. He didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure.”
WATERLOO COACH DAN ROSE
“We just couldn’t get ourselves to a point where we could tip the game tonight. We moved the ball. We did everything but win the game. At the end of the game we had them dropping like flies. Our conditioning showed tonight.”