Prep Football: Waukon Storms Back, Beats Defending State Champion Union
By Nick Petaros, Waterloo Courier
LA PORTE CITY, Iowa Waukon got the rematch it wanted, and Union Community's football team ran out of postseason magic Monday night in La Porte City.
Waukon overcame a 14-7 deficit early in the second half to avenge an earlier heartbreaking district loss and eliminate Class 3A's defending state champion Union from postseason play, 21-14, in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Indians (9-2) saw Union (9-2) score three touchdowns in the final seven minutes to defeat them in on Sept. 28 in district play. This time, they wouldn't be denied.
"I'm so proud of our kids," Waukon head coach Ted Snitker said. "When we played down here earlier in the year and we looked up at the scoreboard and it was 34-33, those guys wanted to come back. They wanted these guys in the postseason."
Behind dual quarterbacks and a creative three-headed rushing attack, Waukon dictated play with 43 rushes for 264 yards. Cole Ewing broke loose for a 57-yard score on the Indians' second series and finished with 79 yards on eight carries. Parker Hesse added 18 carries for 99 yards, and tied the game on a 28-yard screen pass reception from Joshua Thorson.
Waukon set up its go-ahead touchdown when Hesse hit Hunter Hammel for a 33-yard completion off a reverse pass. Marcus Weymiller capped the drive with 7:04 left in the fourth quater on a 3-yard TD run as a part of his 72 yards rushing.
"Coach (Jed) Hemann does a great job," Snitker said addressing his team's unique plays. "He draws things up in the dirt. I think he kind of wakes up in the middle of the night and draws it on paper."
For a Union team not accustomed to postseason setbacks, there was belief until the final second. The Knights took advantage of an fourth-down offsides call prior to a field goal attempt late in the second quarter and tied the game when Trev Hadachek hit Will Crees over the middle for a 12-yard score.
Union then recovered a squib kick on its own 40 to open the second half, and took the lead when junior quarterback Jay Scheel faked a pitch and sprinted 18-yards for a touchdown. Following Waukon's go-ahead TD, Union moved the ball to the Indian 41. Scheel, however, had a pass deflected and the Indians' secondary popped the ball loose on the next two plays to force a turnover on downs.
Waukon rushed the final four minutes off the clock to secure the victory.
"We've been together since third grade so this is a tough one to swallow," said Union senior all-stater Trev Hadachek who rushed for 40 yards on 5 carries and finished with six catches for 61 yards. "There's nothing I love more than playing with my dad (Union head coach Joe Hadachek). That's one of the things I'm going to miss the most. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. I love every one of our coaches, players, managers. I just want to thank everyone for the support."
In addition to Hadachek, Scheel was held to 37 yards on 13 carries and finished 8 of 14 passing for 82 yards.
For the Knights' 23 seniors this loss was a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, Union coach Joe Hadachek couldn't help but admire how far they've helped elevate the school's football program.
"I know they're going to be champions in life," Joe Hadachek said. "They've not only raised this program to a new level, they've raised this school to a new level. You just look in the stands here, this is something that has been built over the course of time and I'm proud of the way they act, proud of the changes they've made and more importantly the men they've become."