Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
CEDAR FALLS — WACO football will have its shot at a state title come next Thursday against the Hawks of Remsen St. Mary’s.
The No. 2 Warriors have as complete a team as anyone in the state and they showed it in their Wednesday afternoon semifinal matchup against No. 8 Newell-Fonda.
While injuries to both seniors Ty Egli and Simeon Reichenbach in the second quarter made the Warriors goal a bit tougher they came together, battling through adversity to punch their ticket to the state title game.
“We lost Ty in the second quarter, and then Simeon three plays later,” WACO head coach Chad Edeker said. “It was just like 'boy, can we do this?”
The Warriors did not disappoint as they pulled out the 29-21 semifinal victory
Egli, who has been a force on both sides of the ball for the Warriors, went down with a knee injury after reeling in his first catch for a 13 yard first down.
“Ty caught some balls really well for us,” Edeker said. “That was a big play.”
As a defensive end and a tight end this season, Egli has shined. Throughout the season, not only has Egli caught 10 balls for 161 yards and three touchdowns, he’s also been stellar on defense, racking up 34 tackles, 27 solo and a second-best 16 tackles for a loss.
Egli was unable to return to the semifinal match due to the injury.
As for Reichenbach, he went down after hyperextending his knee on a first-down catch and run down the sideline.
“Right when it happened, I didn't know,” Reichenbach said. “I thought it was really bad. Once I had sat down it kind of loosened up and I thought I could walk on it. Then after halftime, it just kept feeling better.”
The Warriors leading rusher had to be helped off the field and would sit out the final minutes of the first half, but he would return to action in the second.
“He's the All-State kid,” Edeker said. “We know that. He said it scared him a little bit, but he was able to get there and do it.”
He would go on to help the Warriors score 18 points to the Mustangs 14 in the second half to help propel them to the state championship game.
Reichenbach has been an integral piece for the WACO offense and defense. He showed it in the semifinal bout as well, rushing for 90 yards and two scores, while also adding 49 yards receiving. He also connected on a pair of field goals from 28 and 20 yards. On defense, Reichenbach racked up 5.5 tackles.
Through the season, he has amassed 1,451 yards and 30 touchdowns. He adds 293 yards receiving and five scores on 17 catches as well. Defensively he had 43.5 tackles, 36 of which are solo.
WACO will play for the Class 8-player state title against No. 1 Remsen St. Mary’s on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m.