Dakota Lau caught two two touchdown passes and Jacob Butcher ran for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown to help lead the Western Dubuque football team to a convincing 42-6 victory over Waterloo East in the Bobcats’ homecoming game played at Buchman Field, Sept. 25.

Quarterback Garrett Baumhover and the Bobcats’ offensive unit wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as they took the opening drive and cruised 77-yards in just six plays with the final 25 yards coming on a pass from Baumhover to Lau. Playing without kicker Eric Monahan, and several other starters because of injuries and exposure to COVID-19, the Bobcats went for two-points, handing the ball off to Grayson Gardner who got around the edge and walked into the end for an 8-0 lead.

“We’ve got a few guys who couldn’t play tonight, but the rest of us have to do what we’ve gotta do,” said Lau. “The guys who are the second men in really stepped up today. They played their hearts out and did an amazing job that helped lead us to victory.”

After the defense forced a three and out by the Trojans, the Bobcats’ offense needed just three plays to go 43 yards for the 16-0 lead. Lau took a pass from Baumhover and was tackled at the 12. Two runs later and Butcher was in the end zone scoring on a nine-yard run. Tommy DeSollar caught a screen pass from Baumhover and followed his blockers into the end zone for an easy two-point conversion to give the Bobcats a 16-0 advantage not even five minutes into the game.

Later in the first quarter, the Bobcats (4-1) started a drive at their own 48-yard line and easily marched down the field for another score. The home team cashed in on a five-yard pass from Baumhover to Lau for their second touchdown of the night. The extra point was no good to make the score 22-0.

The next time the Bobcats had the ball, they went 89-yards in less than 1:30 with the final 30 yards coming on a catch and run by DeSollar. The extra point was no good and the Bobcats had a 28-0 lead at halftime.

Using halftime to get energized, Waterloo East (0-5) got something going right away in the third quarter. Joseph Spates plowed his way through the middle of the Bobcats’ defense to score a touchdown on a 55-yard run. The kick for extra point was no good, but the Trojans had cut into the lead, 28-6.

Things continued to go the Trojans’ way on the kickoff when Lau uncharacteristically fumbled the ball and Waterloo East took over at the Bobcats’ 33-yard line. A defensive penalty gave the Trojans first down at the 23, but that would be as close as they would get as they turned the ball over on downs.

After going scoreless in the third quarter, the Bobcats’ second unit managed to put 14 more points on the board to secure the 42-6 win. Gardner crashed his way into the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown run and, with under five minutes to play, Owen Hatcher, a linebacker, carried the ball 29 yards for a touchdown. Jeffrey Puccio made both extra points to close out the scoring.

“We are banged up a little bit. We sure could use a bye week or three, but that’s not in the cards for us,” said a smiling Justin Penner, head coach of the Bobcats, after the game. “We sure had a lot of different guys step up for us tonight to help us get the win. That’s really gratifying for a coach because the challenges we are facing as a group of people only makes us better in the long run and we’ll be a better football team down the stretch because of it.”

WD’s leaders were: passing — Baumhover 12-of-17 for 262 yards, three TD and one INT and Caleb Klein 3-of-3 for five yards; rushing — Butcher 18-for-103 yards and one TD, Gardner 5-for-64 and one TD, Baumhover 6-for-32, Hatcher 1-for-29 and one TD, Klein 2-for-6; receiving — Lau 5-for-139 and two TDs, DeSollar 5-for-104 and one TD, Bryn Vantiger 1-for-17, Tanner Nauman 1-for-6, Butcher 3-for-1; extra points — Puccio 2-for-3; tackles — Dakota Hoffman 6.5, Devin Neuhaus six, Hatcher five, Lau four, Gardner and Evan Surface 3.5, Tucker Nauman three, Dominic Frost and Trent Busch two, Ryker Staudenmaier 1.5, Cole Phillips, Brody Steger, Lucas Ingles and Butcher one, Eric Deutmeyer and Logan Wiskus 0.5.