A week after leaving the semifinal game with an injury, Waukon quarterback Creed Welch stepped back on the turf at the UNI-Dome to help lead the Indians to their second Class 2A state championship Friday afternoon.

The 28-14 win over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock marked its 10th consecutive win in 2020, with its lone loss of the season coming in the opener against Decorah, 19-18, back in August. 

Waukon won its first title in 2017 and followed it up in 2018 with an appearance in the semifinals. Last year, the Indians fell to OABCIG 37-12 in the finals to fuel the fire to return to the title game and finish this year with the trophy.

Game play

After trading possessions, Waukon’s Brennan Sweeney had the opportunity to put the Indians on the board first as he scooped up a CL/G-LR fumble and returned it 27 yards for a TD. With Ethan O’Neill’s 2-point conversion run, Waukon was on top 8-0. It took CL/G-LR two plays and 22 seconds to pull back within one, 8-7.

Still leading, the Indians went back to work in the second quarter, Pat Hennessey capped off a seven-play, 88-yard drive in the end zone to give Waukon a 16-7 cushion with 5:40 remaining. CL/G-LR ate up the remainder of the quarter with a possession that drove the ball 72 yards in 16 plays, scoring with three ticks on the clock, leaving Waukon with a 16-14 halftime lead.

The second half belonged to the Indians. Welch provided the arm strength as he heaved a 56-yard pass to Braxton Stewart with 1:10 left in the third period to extend Waukon’s lead to 22-14. 

Welch helped the Indian’s cause with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, blowing CL/G-LR chances to get inside the Waukon 35. Welch’s second pick set the stage for an eight-play, 58-yard touchdown, clinching the outcome with a six-yard Ethan O’Neill carry to give Waukon the 28-14 victory.

The numbers

Waukon tallied 339 yards in the contest while CL/G-LR moved the ball for 204 yards.

Welch passed for 169 yards, completing 6-for-14 and handled the pigskin for another 39 yards rushing. O'Neill paced the Indians in the ground game with 19 carries for 106 yards. Also rushing for Waukon were Pat Hennessy for 20 yards, Lincoln Snitker for five yards and Brady Behrend for five.

Behrend was Creed’s main target in the air with three receptions for 77 yards, while Steward had the one catch for a 56-yard touchdown. Snitker and Braden Hemann also had one reception apiece.

Defensively, Waukon was led by Konnor Krambeer who had six solo tackles and four assisted tackles. Hennessy was in on seven total stops with three solo tackles and eight assists. On the board with five solo tackles and one assist was O’Neill, while Sweeny had four solo stops and three assists.