Watseka Warrior football ended on Friday night in week two of the playoffs at the hands of the number one seeded Knoxville Blue Bullets. The final score was 20-14.
Watseka found themselves on the board first to start the game after a 23 yard pass from quarterback Drew Wittenborn found the arms of Ethan LaBelle to score. The Warriors attempted a two-point conversion which failed, giving Watseka the leg up on Knoxville 6-0 with 7:56 left in the first quarter. Watseka found the end zone a second time in the first quarter of play after a pass from Wittenborn, this time to Conner Curry, once again resulted in a Warrior TD. The conversion attempt was successful this time around and the Warriors were up 14-0 to end the quarter.
Knoxville found their footing in the second quarter of play however, scoring two touchdowns of their own and leaving Watseka with just a two point lead to end the half 14-12.
Watseka kept their two point lead over the Bullets right up until the 2:05 mark in the final quarter. A six yard run from the Bullets resulted in a Knoxville touchdown, ultimately ending the Warriors’ season with the final score of 20-14.
“We’re very proud of the effort our guys gave,” said Watseka head coach, Aaron Hilgendorf.
“They believe in each other and gave themselves to the program. This team has been a joy to coach and and we have grown over the season tremendously. They have improved on the field and with their preparation to play their best when their best is needed.”
For many players, the end of the season means their time on the gridiron is at an end. Hilgendorf said he was proud of his group of seniors on the team and their dedication to the game of football.
“The seniors have been fantastic and we are where we are because of them,” he said.
“They have worked and improved and we are going to miss them in the program.”
Wittenborn threw for 175 yards during the match up with Knoxville. Jameson Cluver picked up 44 rushing yards while Curry grabbed 104 receiving yards. Brayden Haines earned 47 receiving yards of his own followed by LaBelle with 22.
Both Curry and teammate Tylor Durflinger led the team in tackles with nine solo while Haines earned himself six.
Watseka ended their season with a record of 7-4.