The Dubuque Senior student section has a new chant: “Flan-ny… Flan-ny… Flan-ny…” If Logan Flanagan plays the way he did Friday night, the Rams will be hearing that cheer an awful lot this fall.
The junior safety came up with four interceptions — including one late in the fourth quarter that ultimately sealed Davenport North’s fate — as Senior won its first game of the season in its home opener at Dalzell Field, 28-15, over the Wildcats.
Rams coach Dale Ploessl isn’t aware if what Flanagan did on Friday was a school record. But there aren’t any games that really stick out if it’s not the new program mark.
“It’s phenomenal,” Ploessl said. “We really challenged the defense this week. We didn’t play very good on defense last week. … The guys really stepped up and did a great job stopping the run. We had Flanagan in the right spot and he was able to go up and get the ball.”
Flanagan’s first interception stalled North’s first drive of the game, but unfortunately put Senior at its own 2. The Wildcats (1-1) earned a safety on the next play, and marched 57 yards on their ensuing drive for a touchdown to take an 8-0 lead on the Rams (1-1).
That’s when Senior’s offensive playmaker, Kendrick Watkins Hogue, began to emerge. His 19-yard catch on the Rams’ next drive set his team up at first and goal, and Cain McWilliams punched it in on the next play, cutting Senior’s deficit to 8-7 just before the first quarter closed.
After a North punt to start the second quarter, Rams QB Tom Casey connected with Watkins Hogue again. This time, the receiver broke past two tacklers for a 47-yard TD and a 14-8 lead.
Flanagan’s second interception came on the Wildcats’ next drive, another pick near the end zone. He ran it out to Senior’s 25, and three plays later Casey and Watkins Hogue hooked up for another long TD, 40 yards for a 21-8 lead midway through the second.
McWilliams got into the mix defensively, too. His interception late in the first half kept North out of the end zone and preserved Senior’s two-score lead out o the break. The Wildcats managed a 13-play drive to open the third quarter with Jack West’s touchdown run cutting their deficit to 21-8 entering the fourth.
Hunter Preston capped Senior’s first drive of the final frame with a 39-yard touchdown run, 28-15 with under 6 minutes to go. Two of North’s final three drives to get back into it ended in Flanagan’s hands. After his fourth pick, Senior kneeled out the final 53 seconds to preserve the win.
“A lot of people were talking down our team,” said Flanagan, as classmates chanted his name behind him. “We had to bring it back up and set the tone for our season.”
Watkins Hogue finished with eight catches for 200 yards while Casey was 12 of 18 for 240 yards through the air.