WATERLOO — Waterloo East showered Charles City with big plays Friday night.
Then the Trojans gave first-year head coach Regis Baskerville his first ceremonial victory shower.
It took more than three hours, but East finally tucked away a 64-42 Class 3A, District 3 win at Memorial Stadium for its first victory since Oct. 11 of last season.
“This feels good,” said Trojan quarterback Justin Thomas. “First one of the year. It feels great.”
The Trojans (1-5) couldn’t get out of their own way early, falling behind 21-0 just 44 seconds into the second period. By then, East had already been penalized 10 times for 84 yards and surrendered an interception for a touchdown.
“It was an ugly first quarter, definitely,” said Baskerville. “The penalties hurt us. We were playing behind the sticks, which it seems we’ve been doing all year.”
That might have been enough to bury some teams. Not the Trojans, who roared back to score eight of the next nine touchdowns and turn the game around on their senior night.
“They fought back early in the game, and they really showed their character,” said Baskerville.
Thomas shook off a slow first quarter (1 of 6 with an interception) and finished 15 of 27 for 222 yards with six touchdowns.
“We started off sloppy,” said Thomas. “I made some bad throws, but we got it figured out starting in the second quarter. The offensive line blocked really well and the receivers caught the ball and it worked out well.”
Sophomore Martez Wiggley, who had no receptions coming into the game, broke out with seven catches for 135 yards and touchdowns covering 8, 44, 37 and 19 yards. He also caught a two-point conversion pass. Brenden Stigler had a TD catch among his four receptions. Kjuan Owens punished the Comets for 102 rushing yards and caught three passes, including an 18-yarder for a score. Shakur Wright, another sophomore, ran for 176 yards (162 in the second half with touchdowns of 56, 25 and 35 yards.
“Shakur stepped up,” said Baskerville. “He’s been having good practices. He’s always been wanting to play running back. We had him at d-end. He loves that running back role and guess what? He’s gonna keep going at running back now.”
Charles City made some big plays of its own on the way to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, beginning with quarterback Ian Collins’ tackle-breaking, scrambling 34-yard touchdown run. Owen Weber stepped in front of a Thomas pass and cruised 41 yards for a pick-six that made it 14-0 with 4:25 left.
The Comets made it 21-0 with their first possession of the second quarter.
Then East woke up.
Thomas hit Owens three straight times for every yard of a 50-yard drive, including an 18-yarder for the score. A roughing the passer penalty against the Comets was assessed on the kickoff, and East caught Charles City by surprise with an onside kick the Trojans recovered at the Comet 31-yard line. Five plays later, Thomas hit Wiggley for an eight-yard TD that made it 21-14.
Charles City converted a third-and-11 on an option pitch to Jeremiah Chapman, then scored on fourth-and-five when Collins fought his way out of trouble in his own backfield and found a wide-open Weber for a 32-yard scoring strike that restored the two-score lead.
East, however, finished the half with a flourish. Thomas hit Wiggley for a 44-yard TD at 2:15, found Stigler from nine yards out at 1:17 and then Wiggley went up in a crowd and came down with the ball for a 37-yard touchdown with :06 on the first-half clock.
Trojans 34, Comets 28.
Wiggley’s third TD reception made it 42-28 in the third quarter, and Wright broke two of his long touchdown runs in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the fourth as East widened its lead to 56-28.
East has been waiting for the talented Wiggley to make an impact.
“I’ve been preaching about that guy since the preseason,” said Baskerville. “He’s just starting to trust the process a little bit more. Now hopefully he gets a little bit more confidence.”
“I’ve just been holding it and keeping it inside,” said Wiggley. “I had to bring it out tonight for my seniors. They were leaving the middle for us so we were just executing our plays and knocking down the middle.”
Charles City’s Trever Heitz tallied a pair of late touchdown runs, but the Comets (0-4) never threatened to catch the Trojans.
In the closing minutes, several East players broke into a dance on the sideline, led by junior Collin Richardson. Shortly after that, the Trojans drenched Baskerville with the water cooler.
“It felt good, it felt good. Honestly,” said Baskerville. “Most important, I’m just happy for the seniors.”
East 64, Charles City 42
Charles City 14 14 0 14 — 42
Waterloo East 0 34 8 22 — 64
CC — Ian Collins 34 run (Alec Staudt kick)
CC — Owen Weber 41 interception return (Staudt kick)
CC — Jeremiah Chapman 4 run (Staudt kick)
East — Kjuan Owens 18 pass from Justin Thomas (Jaleel Montgomery kick)
East — Martez Wiggley 8 pass from Thomas (Montgomery kick)
CC — Weber 32 pass from Collins (Staudt kick)
East — Wiggley 44 pass from Thomas (kick failed)
East — Brenden Stigler 9 pass from Thomas (run failed)
East — Wiggley 37 pass from Thomas (Owens run)
East — Wiggley 19 pass from Thomas (Wiggley pass from Thomas)
East — Shakur Wright 56 run (Dareinta Campbell pass from Thomas)
East — Wright 25 run (pass failed)
CC — Trever Heitz 13 run (Mario Hoefer pass from Staudt)
East — Wright 35 run (Joseph Spates run)
CC — Heitz 10 run (run failed)
First downs 15 22
Rushes-yards 35-176 35-309
Passing yards 64 222
Comp-att-int 5-13-3 15-27-2
Return yards 91 11
Fumbles-lost 6-2 1-1
Punts-avg. 4-31.8 4-28.0
Penalties-yards 6-50 15-126
CHARLES CITY — Jeremiah Chapman 7-45, Ian Collins 12-68, Trever Heitz 7-62, Cael Bohlen 4-minus 4, Mario Hoefer 1-14, Alec Staudt 2-7, Team 2-minus 16.
WATERLOO EAST — Kjuan Owens 12-102, Shakur Wright 15-176, Justin Thomas 1-1, Joseph Spates 4-33, Dareinta Campbell 2-2, Craig Willingham 1-minus 5.
CHARLES CITY — Collins 4-10-1, 39 yards, Staudt 1-3-2, 25 yards.
WATERLOO EAST — Thomas 15-26-2, 222 yards, Spates 0-1-0.
CHARLES CITY — Owen Weber 1-32, Staudt 3-7, Hoefer 1-25.
WATERLOO EAST — Martez Wiggley 7-135, Brenden Stigler 4-35, Owens 3-50, Jaleel Montgomery 1-2.
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