Jordan Cason scores all 3 TD's --
SMITHVILLE – It was a tale of two halves as Watertown rallied late on the legs of Jordan Cason to knock off Highway 70 rival DeKalb County 21-14 Friday.
Cason’s 27-yard touchdown run – his third score of the night – gave Watertown (2-1) the lead with 7:46 left in the game and eventually the win. Cason thought he scored on a 55-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive, but a holding call backed the Purple Tigers to their own 46-yard line. Seven plays later, Cason ran in the touchdown from 27 yards out to give Watertown the lead.
From there, Watertown’s defense stopped a promising DeKalb County drive. The Tigers faced fourth and 18 on Watertown’s 37-yard line with 2:23 left in the game.
Watertown’s Kaden Seay knocked down a pass in the end zone. Watertown was penalized for roughing the passer on the play, but the 15-yard penalty wasn’t enough to give DeKalb a first down. Watertown took over on downs and ran out the clock.
“If you want to go tale of two halves, the first half wasn’t good at all,” said Watertown coach Gavin Webster.
“If you take the first series out of the second half, and I thought we played Purple Tiger football. We found what was working, and we kept running it. … We challenged them at halftime. They could have folded tent, but they took the challenge to heart. We knew we’d have to come out and fight the second half of this ballgame, and they did.”
It was Cason who tied the game at 14-14 on the first play of the fourth on a 3-yard touchdown run. Cason also added a two-point conversion effectively on the same play off left guard used to score the touchdown.
Cason also got the Purple Tigers on the scoreboard midway through the second on a 56-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive following DeKalb’s second touchdown. DeKalb County blocked the point-after try and retained a 14-6 lead.
Following a scoreless first quarter, DeKalb’s Nathaniel Crook scored a 6-yard touchdown with 10:39 left in the second that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
DeKalb County extended its lead to 14-0 on a 90-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Axel Aldino to Desmond Nokes with 7:34 left in the second.
Cason led all rushers with 132 yards on eight carries.
Aldino finished with 148 yards passing, but Watertown’s defense mostly shut down the DeKalb passing game in the second half, limiting the DCHS quarterback to one completion for 8 yards and an interception by Brady Watts early in the second half.
Watertown quarterback Brayden Cousino finished with 111 all-purpose yards.
Watertown will return to Region 4, 2A competition Friday as the Purple Tigers host Cascade. DeKalb County travel to face winless Grundy County.