Football season returned to Waverly on Saturday night as the Wartburg Knights opened their season with a convincing 36-13 win over the Monmouth Scots.
The Knights were lead by a strong defensive effort and great quarterback play from junior Matt Sacia. Sacia finished the game with 307 yards, four touchdowns and only five incomplete passes. Head coach was impressed with how well his quarterback played.
“Matt played great tonight,” Willis said. “We have a lot of confidence in him, our players believe in him.”
On defense, Wartburg shut down the Scot’s running game, holding them to only five yards on 21 attempts.
The secondary struggled at times, allowing over 300 yards through the air, but recorded three interceptions. Two of those interceptions came from Cedric Dobbins and JoJo McNair, both of whom were starting their first game at safety and cornerback respectively.
The performance impressed fellow defensive back Peyton Imhoff, who also recorded a pick and finished with eight tackles.
“They have developed very well, for their first time out here they played great,” Imhoff said.
Senior wide receiver Riley Brockway had a career game, finishing with 171 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches. Brockway said gameplanning with Sacia and the other receivers allowed them to have a strong performance.
Brockway said the team was prepared for the Scots coming into the game and were able to make adjustments throughout the game.
“We had a good game plan, the offensive line did their job, and that’s what we need to do in order to win,” Brockway said.
Wartburg dominated nearly the entire game, scoring first and quickly going up two touchdowns on a botched snap that ended in a fumble recovered inthe end zone by Hunter Baldus.
Monmouth responded with a 71 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to one possession, but Wartburg would score two more touchdowns before halftime to go into the break up 27-7.
The Knights never looked back and outscored Monmouth 9-6 in the second half.
Wartburg’s next game will come on Sep. 16th in Indianola as the Knights travel to take on the Simpson Storm in their first Iowa Conference game.