By Brad Cameron
Keokuk pushed Williamsburg to the limit, but the Raiders remained undefeated in Class 3A District 7.
Williamsburg stopped a Keokuk drive early in the fourth quarter with an interception at the goal line, and the Raiders broke a tie with a 20-play, 99-yard drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacob Donohoe. The Chiefs were 18 yards away from tieing or taking the lead on their final offensive possession, but Williamsburg held on for a 33-27 win, spoiling Keokuk’s Homecoming at Calvert Stadium.
“I thought we had a great effort,” said Keokuk Head Coach Doug Dodds. “We came out ready to play. We did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. It was a big game for us. I’m disappointed we didn’t support our homecoming crowd.”
Keokuk took a 21-20 lead just before halftime. Quarterback Gabe Vandenberg went 6 for 6 passing on a drive that started on Keokuk’s nine-yard line. Dan Williams caught four passes for 38 yards. Darrion Sanders added an 18-yard reception, and Trevor Roth scored on the next play from one yard with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Michael Ingratta’s extra point gave Keokuk the lead.
The Chiefs got the ball to open the second half and went 80 yards in 11 plays to extend its lead. Vandenberg finished the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Stacy Kinkeade to make the score 27-20.
“Offensively, we did a lot of good things,” Dodds said. “We’re going to look at the film and we’re going to be happy. We just have to keep building.”
The defense came up with a turnover on Williamsburg’s first possession of the second half. Wesley Bradley forced Donohoe to fumble and Alex Goss recovered at the Keokuk 35.
Keokuk forced two turnovers in the game, but the Chiefs failed to turn the Williamsburg mistakes into points.
“As we move on in the season we have to take advantage of those turnovers,” Dodds said. “We got some big plays on defense, but we capitalize on them.”
The Raiders tied the game late in the third quarter when Donohoe completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Chance Miller. Fullback Bryan McDonald made the key block on the pass, getting enough of Williams on the blitz to allow Donohoe to complete the pass.
Keokuk put itself in position to retake the lead. Sanders made a leaping catch against John Aljets for a 15 yards on a fourth-and-15 to keep the drive alive late in the third quarter. The Chiefs got as close as the Williamsburg five-yard line, but on fourth down, Cody Marine intercepted a pass to keep the game tied with 11:01 remaining.
“That’s tough,” Dodds said. “The kid made a good play. That’s football.”
Williamsburg took over at its own one-yard line and a penalty moved the football back to the half-yard line, but fullback Nicolas Spratt gave the Raiders some breathing room with a 10-yard run. Miller carried the ball on four of the next five plays, including converting a third-and-six situation with an eight-yard run to the Raiders 41.
Donohoe also converted a third-and-10 with an 11-yard pass to Chance Wetjen. Spratt and Aaron Schultz followed with runs of 21 and 14 yards, and Donohoe completed the drive with a two-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 33-27 advantage with 4:18 left in the game.
Keokuk didn’t go away. Vandenberg completed a 12-yard pass to Roth and hit Kinkeade for a 38-yard completion on fourth-and-10 with 3:25 remaining. Vandenberg hit Sanders for a six-yard completion to the Williamsburg 16, but the Chiefs lost two yards on second down and two incomplete passes gave the Raiders the ball back with 1:49 left.
Williamsburg took a 7-0 lead on a Miller four-yard touchdown run, but Roth, playing for the first time since Sept. 14, scored on a 27-yard run in the first quarter. Ingratta’s extra point tied the game.
The Raiders took a 14-7 lead on Donohoes 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Maas, but Keokuk needed just three plays to tie the game again. Vandenberg found Kinkeade for an 82-yard touchdown reception.
Miller scored on a four-yard run to give Williamsburg a 20-14 lead, but the Chiefs scored just before halftime to take their first lead of the game.
Vandenberg was 25 for 41 passing for 383 yards. Sanders caught seven passes for 87 yards. Williams had six receptions for 77 yards, and Kinkeade finished with five catches for 152 yards. Drake Reiter, Alex Meek and Roth each had two receptions, and Bryce Baxter caught one pass.
Roth led Keokuk with 83 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Miller rushed for 178 yards on 30 carries for Williamsburg. Spratt added 64 yards on 10 carries.
Donohoe completed 9 of 15 passes for 144 yards. Wetjen had four receptions for 67 yards.
Baxter led the Keokuk defense with 16 tackles. Roth added 13 tackles, and Reiter finished with eight tackles. Ryan Egley and Goss each recovered a fumble.
Williamsburg, 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the district, plays a non-district game at Vinton-Shellsburg Friday. Keokuk, 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the district, plays at Mount Pleasant Friday.
RUSHING — Williamsburg: Miller, 30-178; Spratt, 10-64; MacDonald, 6-29; Donohoe, 6-28; Schultz, 2-22. Keokuk: Roth, 19-83; Vandenberg, 4-11; Meek, 2-7; Sanders, 1-4; Kinkeade, 1-minus-4.
PASSING — Williamsburg: Donohoe, 9-15-0-144-2. Keokuk: Vandenberg, 25-41-2-383-2.
RECEIVING — Williamsburg: Wetjen, 4-67; McMenomy, 2-28; Miller, 1-31; Maas, 1-10; Marine, 1-8. Keokuk: Sanders, 7-87; Williams, 6-77; Kinkeade, 5-152; Reiter, 2-21; Meek, 2-20; Roth, 2-16; Baxter, 1-10.
TACKLES (solo-assist-total) — Williamsburg: Lehmkuhl, 4-6-10; Blythe, 4-5-9; Phillips, 3-6-9; MacDonald, 6-2-8; Marine, 7-0-7; Schultz, 5-2-7; Doehrmann, 3-3-6; Francis, 4-1-5; Hughes, 2-3-5; Aljets, 3-1-4; Spratt, 2-2-4; Steckly, 3-1-4; Wessels, 2-2-4; Bodeker, 1-2-3; Gingerich, 2-1-3; Shae, 0-2-2. Keokuk: Baxter, 9-7-16; Roth, 4-9-13; Reiter, 4-4-8; Meek, 3-4-7; Goss, 2-4-6; Williams, 1-5-6; Barclift, 1-3-4; Egley, 1-3-4; R. Hawkins, 2-2-4; Sanders, 2-2-4; Shaw, 1-3-4; Bradley, 1-2-3; S. Hawkins, 2-1-3; Blanford, 1-0-1; Kinkeade, 1-0-1; Marlin, 1-0-1; Romo, 0-1-1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES — Keokuk: Egley, 1-0; Goss, 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS — Williamsburg: Schultz, 1-0; Marine, 1-0.
EXTRA POINTS — Williamsburg: Wichmann, 3-5. Keokuk: Ingratta, 3-4.
PUNTS — Keokuk: Vandenberg, 2-70.
KICK RETURNS — Williamsburg: Miller, 3-68; Spratt, 1-15; Marine, 1-9. Keokuk: Sanders, 2-28; Shaw, 1-15; Baxter, 2-13.
PUNT RETURNS — Williamsburg: Marine, 1-12.