BEAVERCREEK – Messiah DeWeaver threw four touchdown passes as Wayne dominated Beavercreek 48-0 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division matchup at Frank Zink Field in Beavercreek Friday night.
Wayne recorded its fourth shut-out of the season holding Beavercreek to just 31 yards of total offense. Beavercreek, which featured the top rusher in the GWOC, Tim Bradshaw (1,236 yards rushing) was held to just 12 yards on 10 carries. Facing a highly respected option style running attack, the Wayne defense once again set the tone and the edge, to keep the Beavercreek offense at bay.
“Our three guys in the middle made it click, “said Mikal Toliver, one of the Wayne’s defensive captains. “We shut down the middle making them bounce everything to the outside; we were able to shut them down.”
“Pat Wood and our defensive coaches did a remarkable job getting the point of attack, said Coach Jay Minton. “We held a 1200 yard rusher to 12 yards.” This was a team effort; you have to get out ahead of those guys, when you get three or four touchdowns ahead they can’t run it like they want to,” added Coach Minton.
“We knew we had to stop the fullback, “said Defensive Coordinator Pat Wood. “The kids took it as a challenge; we knew it was the first place we had to start.”
“That’s a great group of kids up front; they accepted the challenge and did a fantastic job, “added Wood.
The first half was ignited by DeWeaver who connected with L’Christian Smith for three TD’s; in the second half, it was the defense that provided the spark causing two Beavercreek fumbles that were turned into Wayne touchdowns.
On Wayne’s second possession, DeWeaver scrambled twice for runs of 25 yards, and eight yards to move the ball to the Beavercreek 20-yard line. The next play, DeWeaver connected on a 20-yard pass to the shifty Daryl McCleskey for Wayne’s first score with 4:36 left in the first quarter to take the lead, 7-0.
Wayne’s next score came as DeWeaver connected with Smith, who caught the ball in stride over the middle for 43 yards and a touchdown with 2:20 left in the first quarter to extend the lead to 14-0.
A Wayne punt gave Beavercreek its best field position in Wayne territory and a golden opportunity to keep the score close. Beavercreek was unable to capitalize on the field position as a penalty forced a punt. Hope for Beavercreek was not totally lost as Wayne was pinned down at their own 8-yard line. On the next play Wayne delivered a mighty blow as DeWeaver connect again with the 6-4 sophomore Smith for a 93-yard TD down the sideline with 4:35 left in the second quarter to extend the lead to 21-0.
The Wayne defense showed its teeth as they forced a Beavercreek fumble that was recovered by Wendell Wheeler at the Beavercreek 34-yard line. Wayne capitalized as DeWeaver connected with Smith for his third TD reception in the corner of the end zone for 34 yards with 28 seconds left in the second quarter to take a commanding 28-0 lead into half-time.
Another Beavercreek turnover came as a result of a pitch that was batted down by Alex Reigelsperger and recovered in the end-zone by defensive lineman Wendell Weaver (his second recovery) for a Wayne touchdown with 6:45 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 35-0.
The next Wayne score came on one of the oddest plays of the season. Wayne’s Fred Pitts ran the ball for five yards, but the ball came loose as he was going to the ground. An alert Matt Wilcox scooped it up and scampered 60 yards for a touchdown with 3:26 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 41-0.
“I saw the ball was fumbled and luckily I was there to recover it, “said Wilcox. “It was a scoop and score with nobody in front of me, just a lucky play.”
Wayne’s final score came on another Beavercreek turnover, this time on a fumbled punt that was recovered by Nyem Wilson at the 1-yard line and carried into the end-zone for a touchdown with 7:52 left in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 48-0.
Wayne improved to 9-0 while Beavercreek dropped to 6-3.
Messiah DeWeaver completed 10 of 18 passes for 244 yards, four TDs and one interception. DeWeaver also rushed for 64 yards on seven carries. L’Christian Smith had three receptions for 170 yards and three TDs while Wendell Wheeler had two fumble recoveries and one TD. Wilcox had three receptions for 45 yards and one TD while McCleskey had three receptions for 29 yards and one TD.
“We need to carry the momentum into next week, “said Toliver. “We know they (Centerville) will give us their best, they will get our best, and hopefully it will be a real good night.”
Wayne will face off in their final regular season game with rival Centerville, at 7 p. m. on Friday, Oct. 30 at home.
“We need to focus on the game, don’t focus on the rivalry, ” said Coach Minton concerning the upcoming Centerville game. “They have a good explosive offense, we don’t want to make it a shoot-out, we want to make sure our defense stays intact, preserve what they have done so far this year as the No.1 team in the GWOC.”
Reach Stephen Granata by contacting Greg Smart at 684-8088.