Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WINFIELD - One of the most important games in the recent history of the WACO-Winfield-Mount Union football rivalry took place on Friday night, and this year’s edition went the way of the boys in blue.
The eighth-ranked (8-Player) Warriors used a balanced offensive attack and three interceptions on defense to run past the Wolves 47-20, the final win in an undefeated regular season.
“It felt real good,” said WACO junior Simeon Reichenbach, who found the end zone five times. “It's good to finish off the undefeated season. It was awesome.“
Winfield-Mount Union struck first, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Cam Buffington to Abram Edwards.
WACO scored the next three. Reichenbach scored twice in the first quarter, once from 53-yards out and once from 16 out. Early in the second, Isaac Oswald hit Drew Diers on a 16-yard touchdown pass, and the Warriors led 20-6.
“I loved the way we battled back,” said WACO head coach Chad Edeker. “They went down and went up 6-0 and we had to fight.”
WMU cut the game to six points with a 5-yard touchdown run by Cam Buffington midway through the second quarter. Reichenbach scored his third touchdown to stretch the WACO lead to 26-14 before halftime.
WMU stopped WACO’s opening third quarter drive and drove the length of the field to score on a 1-yard rush by Noah Sparrow. The game was 26-20 at that point, but that’s as close as the Wolves would get.
Reichenbach caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Oswald later in the third quarter. In the fourth, Oswald hit Jon Rice on a 7-yard touchdown pass, and Reichenbach ran one in from 8-yards out.
Mason Miller had two interceptions for WACO, which gives him eight on the year, tied for a WACO High 8-Man record. Reichenbach picked off a pass as well.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Winfield-Mount Union head coach Scott McCarty said. “They’re undefeated for a reason.”
Reichenbach finished with 192 total yards and five scores on the day. Oswald finished 9-for-13 for 149 yards and two scores, and Oleh Shtefanchuk led the WACO defense with 8.5 tackles.
Buffington finished the day with 143 yards and a score through the air and another 143 and a touchdown on the ground to lead the Wolves.
“They're a good team, and Buffington is a beast,” Edeker said. “I thought we'd tackle him better than we did, and he did a great job.”
Edwards ended the game with seven catches for 86 yards and a score to lead the WMU receiving group. Buffington had 7.5 tackles to lead the defense.
WACO finished the regular season 8-0 overall and 6-0 in Class 8-Player District 6. The Warriors will be in action again in two weeks when the playoffs start.
Winfield-Mount Union is 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the district. The Wolves can clinch a playoff berth with a win at English Valleys (5-1, 4-1) Friday.