Waukon football team has late fourth quarter comeback effort spoiled in final minute of 19-18 season-opening loss at Decorah

Anyone who left the Waukon football team’s Friday, August 28 season opener at Decorah prior to the midway point of the final quarter missed out on the most exciting and tale-telling part of the ballgame as momentum swung hard in both directions while the game’s final minutes ticked off the clock. Unfortunately for the football Indians, the final swing of that momentum was not in their favor.

Trailing by two touchdowns midway through that fourth frame, the football Tribe was finally able to not only find the explosiveness its fans have come to expect in recent years but also find the scoreboard - not just once, but twice - in the game’s final six minutes. The Indians used that final flurry to overcome a 12-0 deficit and build an 18-12 lead, only to have that lead snatched right back in the game’s final minute to suffer a 19-18 defeat to the host Vikings to open the 2020 season.

“I was pleased the kids kept fighting, even though the breaks of the game seemed to be against us most of the game,” Waukon football coach Chad Beermann said. “Kids can give into frustration when things are not going their way, but ours kept at it until we were able to start connecting on offense.”

The Indian ground game was limited to just 86 total yards, although it did produce the Tribe’s lone two touchdowns of the contest. Meanwhile, the host Vikings compiled 135 yards on the ground and also outgained the Tribe through the air by a 175-146 count, with 62 of those Viking air yards coming on their game-winning drive in the game’s final two minutes.

“They had kids who were fired up and flying to the football on defense, and when we were able to get a little crack, they closed it up in a hurry,” Coach Beermann said of Decorah’s staunch defensive effort against the Indian run game. “Obviously, we have the talent to be explosive on offense, but most the game, we were just off. Either the pass just missed, or we didn’t catch the ones that hit. All you can do is keep swinging, knowing that eventually you will connect. The defense was able to keep it close enough that we could make a run.”

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