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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 27 2013

NDSCS head coach recalls game against Kansas State QB

FARGO – It was a year ago last October when Iowa Western Community College quarterback Jake Waters completed 16 of 24 passes against the North Dakota State College of Science. Although those numbers may not scream greatness, it was the other things that he did that turned some heads.

Science head coach Chuck Parsons, for one, was impressed.

“He was a very efficient and smart kid,” he said. “He’s probably as good of a junior college quarterback as I’ve seen in a long time.”

Kansas State is counting on it. Waters will start Friday night when Kansas State hosts North Dakota State. He transferred to

K-State after the season at mid-semester and was named the Wildcats’ starter on Monday by head coach Bill Snyder.

Waters orchestrated a well-oiled Iowa Western machine.

The Reivers defeated Science 64-6 in Wahpeton in a game that saw them score 28 first-quarter points.

Western went on to an undefeated season and a junior college national title. They scored on a kickoff return, two interception returns and a fumble return against NDSCS.

“Their defense was as close to an FBS defense as you can get in junior college,” Parsons said. “We struggled against them like everyone else. What makes it even harder is when you have a guy back there (like Waters) that operates that offense at the pace that he does.”

Waters finished that game with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. For the season, he threw for 3,051 yards and 39 touchdowns against just three interceptions.

“He was able to read defenses more than most junior college kids could,” Parsons said. “He also did some things more complex than what other junior college quarterbacks were doing. He didn’t make very many mistakes, that was the big thing with him. He didn’t put his team in a bad position.”

Snyder, in naming Waters the starter, said he was more than just a thrower, too. Parsons didn’t see much of that element, although Iowa Western didn’t need its quarterback to run, either.

“They had a couple of good tailbacks,” he said. “I don’t think he was a guy who could kill you with his legs but I know he could run some.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia