The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

September 30, 2013

Van Buren honors the past, continues present success with Homecoming win

KEOSAUQUA - At Friday night's homecoming, Van Buren recognized a team that made its mark on the football tradition at the school, which dates back to 1898.

The 2013 squad is contributing its chapter to the story.

Van Buren trounced New London, 40-6, uncorking several big plays to make a statement in District 5 of Class 1A. Van Buren took advantage of five New London turnovers, including four interceptions.

The win gave the Warriors a 2-1 record in the district and 3-2 overall. Van Buren is in a three-way tie for second place.

Coach Mike Hurley said it was a good win for the Warriors, which now has several road games ahead.

"We came out flat, but once we started passing, that opened up the running game and we were eventually able to do it at will. We have some big senior linemen and a good group of talented juniors. We like to ground and pound it," Hurley said.

Hurley said the team was moved by the presence of several members of the 1969 football team, the last undefeated team at Van Buren, which was recognized during halftime. Before the game, the 1969 team spoke to the 2013 squad.

"They really motivated the kids and the team responded well," Hurley said.

Last week, Van Buren beat WACO for the first time since the 1969 team beat them, and Friday's win was the first homecoming victory since 2004.

Van Buren spotted New London an early touchdown, with 4:06 left in the first quarter. The Warrior special teams made a mistake on a punt, and New London took advantage, returning it from the 30 to the three-yard line. Van Buren punted, but no one touched the ball, which was still live. A New London player saw his opportunity and then scooped it up and scampered 27 yards. The Tigers scored soon after, but that was their only foray into paydirt.

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