There are still two regular season games remaining, but the playoffs begin this week for the Wahoo football team.
With games against two traditional state powers — undefeated Class C-1 No. 2 Aquinas (which the No. 6 Warriors host Friday) and last year’s state runner-up Bishop Neumann — to finish district play, it’s the appropriate way to approach what’s ahead.
Wahoo’s game Friday at Syracuse was not played because of the poor weather and field conditions, which means the Warriors (6-1) come into this week healthy and with a lot of pent-up energy they’re ready to release.
“A lot of us haven’t played a full game in a while, so we’re anxious to get out there again,” said Wahoo senior running back/defensive back Dylan Egr, who has rushed for 858 yards and 18 touchdowns and registered two interceptions on defense this season. “It should be fun. This is playoff football, and both of these games are huge for us because our goal is to win the district title.”
The only close game Wahoo has had so far was a 24-19 loss on the road at No. 1 Norfolk Catholic in week 3. The victories over Ashland-Greenwood, Lincoln Christian, Louisville, David City, and North Bend Central have been blowouts by an average margin of 55 points, including four shutouts.
The Warriors fought back from a 24-7 deficit against Norfolk Catholic with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, including a 65-yard TD run by Egr, who also returned the opening kickoff for a score.
“Our kids showed some grit and perseverance in that game,” Wahoo coach Chad Fox said. “We had a lot of first-year starters coming into the season, and you never know how they’re going to show up in a big game like that.
“We gave up 17 points right after halftime, we were in a tough spot at the end of three quarters, but our kids never quit,” Fox added. “We had the ball down five late with a chance to make it interesting.”
Wahoo will be outsized on the offensive and defensive fronts against both Aquinas (7-0) and Neumann, so the Warriors hope to neutralize that with a balanced attack and precision execution.
While Egr has breakaway ability running the ball, senior quarterback Cameron Quick (6-3, 195) has kept opposing defenses honest by completing 58 of 90 passes for 854 yards and 11 TDs. He’s spread it around to three different senior receivers — Brendan Lacey (16-301, four TDs), Cade Belitz (13-174, three TDs) and Billy Hancock (14-220, 1 TD).
“We will need everyone chipping in to move the ball against a team like Aquinas,” Fox said. “With Dylan being such a dynamic player, we try to get him the ball in as many different ways as possible. Our passing game has improved this season, and Cameron’s done a good job spreading it around.”
Defensively, Wahoo has a standout in 6-foot, 190-pound junior linebacker Sam Kolterman, who leads the team in tackles (43) and sacks (seven) while also forcing four fumbles and blocking two kicks. Senior Tucker Hancock has a team-high 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Kolterman joins lineman Jack Sutton (6-2, 230) as the Warriors’ top juniors.
“Both Aquinas and Neumann are physical teams, and I love contact so I’m really looking forward to these next two games,” said Kolterman, last year’s Class B state wrestling runner-up at 182 pounds as a sophomore. “We’ll find out a lot about our team the next two weeks.”