KETTERING — Messiah DeWeaver threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth to lead Wayne to a 48-6 route over Fairmont in a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division match-up at Roush Stadium in Kettering on Friday.
Wayne improved their record to a perfect 7-0 and showed why they are ranked 21st in the nation by the CBS Max Preps. Wayne dominated the first half by scoring on every possession and holding Fairmont to -3 yards rushing and just 11 yards passing. By the end of the night Wayne put together 308 yards of total offense, 225 yards rushing and 83 yards passing. Fred Pitts, Antwand Wilson and Josh Foster ran the ball with attitude and a refusal to go down, as they combined for 155 yards rushing to lead the ground attack for Wayne.
Wayne did not waste any time flexing their muscles as they took advantage of a Fairmont fumble on the first possession of the game. Senior Todd Hoffacker made the recovery for Wayne on the 17-yard line that set up the first touchdown. On the first Wayne possession DeWeaver connected on a floater over the middle to Matt Wilcox for a 17-yard touchdown with 10:20 left in the first quarter to take a quick 7-0 lead.
On the next possession penalties and a sack by Alex Reigelsperger forced Fairmont to punt. The speedy Daryl McCleskey received the punt for Wayne and ran it back for a dazzling 71-yard touchdown blast with 5:46 left in the first quarter to extend the lead to 14-0.
“I have been practicing a lot on punt returns, getting in the open field and hitting the lane right, “said McCleskey. “I went with the scheme, I got the open field and I knew I had to make a play.”
“One of the best runs I’ve seen for a long time, “said Coach Jay Minton. “He came from one side then reversed field, that was just unbelievable.”
“We are getting play like that from our leaders, when you get that kind of play, I think that says a lot,” added Minton.
Wayne took advantage of another Fairmont turnover as Mikal Toliver blocked a Fairmont punt to put the ball at the 23- yard line. An 18-yard pass from DeWeaver to Louis Walton set up the 1-yard QB keeper by DeWeaver for a touchdown with 3:24 left in the first quarter to extend the Wayne lead to 21-0.
On Wayne’s last possession of the first quarter DeWeaver found a wide open Wilcox for a 37-yard touchdown, his second TD catch, with 1:10 left to extend the lead to 28-0.
In the second quarter, the defense made their presence felt on a Tobias Gilliam interception. Gilliam refused to be tackled as he zig zagged his way to a 44-yard pick-6 touchdown run with 10:56 left in the second quarter to further ignite Wayne and extend the lead to 35-0.
“I caught it, and I knew someone was behind me, “said Gilliam. “I knew I didn’t want to get tackled, I haven’t scored a touchdown since I’ve been in high school. I was really determined, and it got our team hyped.”
The defense came up big again as a Richard Carpenter tackle forced a Fairmont fumble and a Wayne recovery on the 4 yard line. Wayne capitalized on the Fairmont turnover as DeWeaver scrambled out of trouble to fire a rocket pass to L’Christian Smith for the touchdown with 9:35 left in the second quarter to extend the lead to 42-0.
Wayne was not done delivering its punches as they put together a 10 play, 76-yard drive that was all accomplished on the ground from Pitts and Wilson. The drive was capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run by Fred Pitts, who broke several tackles in the backfield before he found a clear path to the end zone with 3:25 left in the second quarter to extend Wayne’s lead to 48-0.
With the running clock in effect and many of the reserves for Wayne seeing action, the second half moved along very quickly. The bright spot for Fairmont came late in the fourth quarter as Maurice Adika scampered for an 8-yard touchdown run to the right corner of the end zone with 5:26 left to make the score 48-6.
“One of our mottos is stay humble, stay hungry, “said Coach Minton. “We must keep finding a way to be better; if we keep that attitude, practice will go well and hopefully we will carry that into next week.”
Wayne improved to 7-0 while Fairmont dropped to a 2-5 record. Wayne returns home next week to host Northmont in another GWOC battle at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16.
Reach Stephen Granata by contacting Greg Smart at 684-8088.