CINCINNATI — The Wayne football team’s main goal during the regular season is to advance to the playoffs, according to Wayne Coach Jay Minton. The Warriors took a major step in that direction Sunday afternoon by edging Moeller 24-22 at Lockland Field snuffing out any hope Moeller had of avenging their 29-22 loss to Wayne last season in the Division I state semi-final game.
Entering the game Wayne was ranked fifth in the region while Moeller was seventh. Minton said that regional and national rankings are great, but said “those rankings don’t get us in the playoffs.” So, I think our kids need to keep that perspective…When you’re playing a team like Moeller, they’re always going to be ranked.”
“We just knew that it was going to be a tough game,” said Minton. ‘I’m just proud of the way our kids came to play and to prepare for it too, because preparation was everything for that game.”
Late in the game, Moeller had a second chance to attempt an on-side kick as they were off-sides on the play, which Minton called a dead-ball foul meaning that Wayne was unable to decline the penalty and Moeller had to re kick it. Minton said he does not like the way the rule is written “because we’re getting penalized for their mistake.” He said he’d like to see the rule changed.
“They could have beat us on that because they got a second chance,” said Minton. “It’s clearly within the rules.”
Minton said Wayne should have executed to have recovered the second on-side kick.
In the second half, Wayne did not score. Minton said Wayne needs to work on running the football and find a way to be able to move the chains. He said they have a fairly new offensive line, but thinks they’ll be able to get there.”
“In the second half, they came after us and again, we didn’t handle it very well, but that’s what we take out of the game that we’ve got to work on and be able to handle that and execute that and handle the pressure like that. You’ve got to give credit to them, to Moeller…”
The Wayne defense was on the field for over 90 plays, which Minton said was “way too many.”
Minton said Wayne did not panic during the game nor did they “tighten up” just because they were playing before a national TV audience.
“I was real proud of them — the way they approached the game,” said Minton. “They took advantage of the situation.”
Minton said getting the win against Moeller on national television (ESPNU) was great exposure for the players and said he expects to receive calls about players from college personnel who saw the game.
“Everybody knows across the country what Moeller’s about,” said Minton.
Wayne will host Lakota West at 7 p.m. on Friday. Minton said if the Warriors can get back-to-back wins against Moeller and West, it would be “huge.” He said he thinks the game will be “as big” as the Moeller game.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com