HUBER HEIGHTS — Wayne overcame a valiant effort by a highly motivated Trotwood Rams team pulling out a 17-6 victory at Wayne High School. Wayne was out of sync on many of its drive because of penalties, miscues and a disruptive Trotwood defense.
Wayne put together a 66 yard drive late in the first quarter, topped off by a 10 yard Rashad McKee touchdown pass to Trew Davis. Garrett Russell added the extra point for a 7-0 Wayne lead.
Midway through the second quarter Trotwood took advantage of a short field, starting its drive at the Wayne 44 yard line. Three plays later Markell Stephens-Peppers hit Caleb Johnson from 29 yards out for a touchdown, but the two point run attempt by Raveion Hargrove came up short. Wayne was still up 7-6.
Wayne wasted no time getting back on the board on its next drive. Wayne drove the ball from its 26 yard line 74 yards in 12 plays, finishing it up with Fred Pitts breaking tackles and rumbling 4 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Garrett’s kick was true once again so the Warriors were now up 14-6.
Russell Garrett, who has been a godsend for the Warriors this year, added a 32 yard field goal after a stalled Warriors drive, putting the Warriors up by two scores at 17-6 with 11:45 left in the game.
Wayne’s defense frustrated the Rams all night. Mazon Walker was in the Rams backfield often. DeWayne Morris was impressive as well, making plays from sideline to sideline against a very fast Trotwood offense. Overall it was a very good night for the Wayne defense.
The Warriors held Trotwood to 258 total yards (102 rush, 156 pass); 48 passing yards came in the waning moments of the game on a desperation pass completed because the defensive back fell down.
Trotwood’s defense played a very good game. The Rams held the Warriors to 262 total yards (88 rush, 174 pass). Trotwood’s linebackers led the Rams attack on defense, filling the holes consistently and making it tough for Wayne to run. The Rams loaded the box most of the night and dared Wayne to throw deep. It seems the game plan was to take make McKee have to beat them.
Even though Wayne had problems on offense at times during the game, Pitts had a lot of success early in the game. He had 66 yards on 11 rushes and a huge 4-yard touchdown heading into halftime.
L’Christian “Blue” Smith victimized Trotwood defenders in the first half. He had 7 catches for 88 yards; many of them for crucial first downs on the first touchdown drive, including a one handed catch going out of bounds.
Early in the game Trotwood had an apparent touchdown pass ruled incomplete. The Rams’ drive stalled inside the 20, but Wayne gave the ball back on its side of the field. The Rams scored on the ensuing drive for their only points.
The Wayne victory seals Wayne’s undefeated season and puts them atop the Division 1 Region 3 rankings (unofficially at the time of this writing) with Friday night’s game left to decide the final rankings.
Wayne will have a Friday night home playoff game next week against an opponent to be announced after Friday night’s games. The Rams await Friday night’s games to see if they will get a spot in the playoffs.
Reach Robert Williamson II via email at: RobertWilliamsonII@gmail.com