- FOOTBALL: Vikings Win Nail Biter Over Discoverers
By Jeff Motz
COLUMBUS---Waverly found the right opportunity to pull off what may have been the biggest heart stopping moment in recent program history.
The Vikings rallied late, completing a short drive on a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dillon Ruelas to receiver Jay Adams for a 17-14 victory over Columbus Friday night inside Columbus Memorial Stadium at Pawnee Park.
Ruelas' pass came with 1:06 left in the game during a final seven-minute stretch which saw two go-ahead touchdowns and three turnovers that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Columbus took control at 14-10 with 6:52 remaining when running back Colton Wolfe capped a 51-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run. More than a minute later, things got interesting.
Waverly was forced to punt on a three-and-out, but managed to get the ball back when Caleb Nielsen's punt hit Columbus' Trevor Sanne. The Vikings recovered the ball and started to march down field, when Ruelas later threw an interception to Caleb Esch, giving the Discoverers an opportunity to try and take care of the ball.
Things went south for Columbus when Wolfe fumbled the football and Waverly recovered it at the Discoverer 19-yard line.
That fumble recovery set up the eventual game winning touchdown pass.
Columbus (0-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead as time ran out in the first quarter, when Wolfe scored on a one-yard run to complete a 62-yard drive.
Penalties mounted up against the Discoverers in the second quarter. With five minutes left before halftime, Columbus turned the ball over when Landon Brabac threw a pass intercepted by Waverly's Greyson Skrobecki, who returned the ball to the Discoverer 19-yard line. That later setup Nielsen's 27-yard field goal.
The Vikings (1-0) mustered some momentum toward the end of the second quarter, where Ruelas found Skrobecki on a 28-yard scoring strike for a 10-7 advantage.
Columbus managed to gain 423 yards of offense, mostly on the ground between Brabac and Wolfe. Waverly only had 134 yards total.