The Western Dubuque football team came into last Friday’s game as the top-ranked team in Class 3A. Coach Justin Penner and his squad took that ranking up to Decorah for a showdown with the Vikings.
WD wasted no time getting this game going as they jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Senior Will Burds, got the ball moving on the first drive with some impressive catches. He scored a rushing touchdown later on that drive.
Coach Penner was happy with how his team started this game on both sides of the ball.
“We were extremely pleased with the way we came out firing on the first drive to immediately go out and get the lead to start the game,” Penner said, “and our defense matched that tone all night long.”
The tempo of this game played right into how Penner wanted the game to go. Burds tacked on another touchdown later, this time through the air. He finished the game with a full stat line of three rushes for 25 yards and one touchdown while also catching seven passes for 102 yards and one touchdown. Senior Bryce Ploessl also hauled in a 69-yard receiving touchdown.
“The tone and tempo of the game in the first half is what we want to be about,” Penner said. “We want to get up early and keep our foot on the throttle all night, and then turn around and take away what they want to do when they have the ball.”
The Bobcats went on to defeat Decorah 23-2. Up until last year, WD had struggled taking down the Vikings. However, it seems as if the tides have changed.
“Beating Decorah is no small task. Previous to last year, the last time our program had beaten them was 2002,” Penner said. “Their program is tough and physical, and you have to be very disciplined in order to beat them.”
Senior Bobcats Carter Kluesner and Ben Bryant, each had 6.5 tackles. Kluesner would also account for a sack. Ploessl and Burds would each force turnovers as well on defense.
Even though Western Dubuque rolled to another win, Penner still thinks that there are areas that can get cleaned up.
“There were a few hiccups in the game that are the fault of me,” he said. “We better get back to being a humble and hungry football team come Saturday morning.”
The Bobcats will now face off against North Scott this Friday at Buchman Field. The Lancers are currently 3-0 on the season while holding their opponents to a combined 21 points in those three games.