Prep Football: Audubon Outlasts WACO in Heartbreaker

(Photo Courtesy: Dana Royer ///

Wayland — Braden Wessel’s fourth quarter punt return sent the Audubon Wheelers to the UNI Dome, defeating WACO 34-30 in a heartbreaking 8-Player Quarterfinal yesterday in Wayland.

The Warriors, leading 30-28, saw Wessel scamper 70-yards, weaving in and out of tacklers to give the Wheelers a lead they would not release.

They did earlier in the tilt, however, as WACO rallied in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 28-16 into the game’s last moments, WACO saw Jon Rice and Simeon Reichenbach both score rushing touchdowns to give the Warriors a 30-28 lead.

Reichenbach was particularly outstanding.

The senior to be rushed 28 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, while Jon Rice added 37 and two scores of his own.

A week after rushing for 301 yards and six touchdowns in their win over Montezuma, Wheeler quarterback Gavin Smith was held to just 84 yards by arguably 8-Player’s stingiest defense.

The loss ends WACO’s season at 10-1, falling one game of an appearance at the UNI Dome.

Audubon improved to 10-1 and is at the Dome for the second time in three seasons.

Their opponent is unknown at this time.