Week 1: Orangeville vs East Dubuque
Dazzling debuts at Dalzell.
The field was set for the first NUIC game at Dubuque Senior High School’s Dalzell field for the first game played in Iowa for the NUIC since 2018. The myriad of discussions on this game from across the state increased on Wednesday when East Dubquue announced they would go against the wishes of the Illinois Department of Public Health and would keep their players safe playing on the turf at Dalzell.
The game featured two coaches making their NUIC debuts, with Steve Snider leading the ranked Orangeville Broncos, who have high hopes on this six-game season, on the other sideline was Joe Edler, the former Lena-Winslow quarterback who is used to success in the NUIC and hoping to bring similar success to the East Dubuque Warriors.
The game opened with senior Chase Jordan taking a lengthy run in the opening quarter to within Warrior territory, however a sack by Huntington and a delay of game penalty backed up the Broncos on their opening possession. Penalties were the highlight of the first drives for each team as the small amount of time to practice prior to the game reared its head.
On East Dubuque’s opening possession of the 2021 spring season, Will Kieffer ran for 18 yards, but a hold on the Warriors brought the Warriors back where they would eventually punt the ball back to the Broncos.
Orangeville scored the first touchdown of the game with a quarterback keeper by senior Jack Doyle at the 2:05 mark of the first quarter, a missed extra point kept the Broncos up 6-0.
On the Warriors next possession, a pass from junior Sam Bowman to fellow junior Dawson Feyen brought the ball to the three yard line as the opening quarter came to a close.
At the start of the second quarter, junior Sam Huntington took the ball for a three-yard carry to knot up the score at 6-6. A 2-point conversion for the Warriors gave them the early 8-6 lead.
The game would go back and forth as the defensive battle began to ensue in the second quarter.
The Warriors stopped the Broncos after a pass from Doyle to senior Zach Baker was deflected by East Dubuque senior Will Kieffer. Getting the ball at their own 13- yard line, Bowman dropped back, but through an interception to the Broncos at the 8:02 mark.
The Broncos and Warriors would trade possessions once again before a touchdown by senior fullback Cade Janecke put the Broncos up 12-8 with 3:09 left before halftime.
The Warriors had a lengthy possession before the break, but were unable to put any points on the board.
Exiting the locker rooms, the defensive slugfest continued as only one first down was recorded int he first 12 minutes of action in the third quarter.
The defensive battle broke in the waning minutes of the third quarter the Broncos were able to march down the field. As the fourth quarter got under way, Janecke was able to power in for his second touchdown of the game, putting the Broncos up 18-8.
On the ensuing kickoff, East Dubuque’s Feyen returned the ball the length of the field for a Warrior touchdown to cut the Bronco lead to 18-14.
The Broncos again picked up where they left off in the previous drive as they began their march to the endzone to put a cap on the game, however a forced fumble by East Dubuque’s Brevin Lee in the endzone stopped any Bronco hopes to put the game away.
On the next possession for the Warriors, a pass from Bowman to Kieffer on third and 11 was handled by Kieffer but nabbed out of his hands by a Bronco defender. After a lengthy discussion by Edler about the pass being a reception, the officials kept with the interception.
The Broncos tried to milk the clock in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, however the Warrior defense was able to hold on fourth and one to get the ball back in their hands in hopes of getting one more score to win the game.
On fourth and 13 with 12 seconds left Bowman aired out a pass to Feyen, who nabbed it at the one-yard line. After a spike, Bowman got under center with four seconds left in the game. A fumbled snap recovered by the Broncos stopped any chances of a last second comeback by the Warriors in a thrilling opening game.