HUBER HEIGHTS — The young Wayne Warriors (2-0) are preparing to host the defending Ohio Division II Champion, the Archbishop Hoban Knights (2-0) this Friday, September 7. MaxPreps has the Knights ranked No. 1 (best team) in Ohio, regardless of division and No. 18 in the nation.
The game is being hyped as a premiere matchup. The prognosticators seem to think that this game will be more of a test for Wayne than it will be for Hoban. It is believed that the Knights are a well-oiled machine and they aren’t quite sure yet who the Warriors are.
Wayne does not have the same hype that it usually has going into the season this year. The main reason for this may be the amount of change that has happened since Wayne’s season ended in a first-round playoff game at home at the hands of Pickerington North last November.
The elephant in the room continues to be the youth movement Wayne is encountering. Seniors Rashad McKee, Steven Victoria and junior Devin Nelson set the pace on offense with some solid contribution from senior Trevor Bom, and the offensive line, anchored by junior Jacob Padilla is experienced.
However, the rest of the contributors on offense are either freshmen or sophomores. Sophomores Boogie Walker and Ja ‘rod Lankford each have two touchdowns so far this year and Freshman Tyler Dorsey is second on the team in rushing at 86 yards.
On defense, freshmen Adam Trick and Tywann January have been starters since midway through the preseason. January has proven to be a difficult defensive lineman to block, as he seems to be putting pressure on the QB or the ball carrier often.
There are also plenty of sophomores sprinkled throughout the starting defense and being subbed in every game. It will be interesting to see how the young Warriors respond to a more disciplined team than they have seen this year, in Hoban. So far the youth hasn’t been a problem.
Head Coach Tim Tyrrel brings his defending Division II champion Knights into Huber Heights on a roll. The Knights avenged a 71-3 opening day loss to St. Ignatius Wildcats last year by taming the Cats’ offense to the tune of -1 rushing and besting the Wildcats 21-14 in their opener this season. The Knights followed that win up with a 42-13 shellacking of Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown.
The Knights dominated 42-14 in the state title game over a Minton Woods team that beat four Division I teams, including Northmont, Moeller, and Springboro. Winton Woods also beat LaSalle twice; their only loss was in overtime to Division I, Elder.
Bishop Hoban has won three consecutive state championships; the 2015 and 2016 championships were at Division III. The Knights’ championship in 2015 was a 30-0 drubbing of the Trotwood Rams. Trotwood benefitted from Hoban moving to Division II this year, as it cleared the way for its division III Championship.
The Knights feature two NCAA D-I recruit running backs; Tyris Dickerson 5-10 207 lbs (Eastern Michigan) and DeaMonte Trayanum 5-11 215 lbs junior (offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Boston College, Notre Dame and Purdue). Both of these running backs are fast, strong and difficult to bring down.
The Knights brought back their entire offensive line, led by senior Nolan Rumler (Michigan) and a host of upperclassmen.
Hoban quarterback Shane Hamm is a sophomore, but he started last year as a freshman and won a state title. Hamm matured so well throughout their championship run, that Coach Tyrrel trusted his young quarterback to audible based upon what he read in the defense. Hamm is more than capable to handle a championship offense, especially one with a one-two punch at running back like Trayanum and Dickerson.
Hoban has a hard-hitting defense that likes to bring pressure and depend on its quickness. After a couple of tune-up games, won easily by the Warriors, this should be a good test for a Warrior offense that has looked unstoppable at times. Wayne played a very large physical defense last week and didn’t skip a beat, but this defense will be more disciplined.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
All eyes will be on the Wayne defensive front. Much has been said about Wayne’s line not being as big as in previous years, but so far the defensive line held its own against a very large offensive line. The Warrior front held an athletic backfield in check for most of the night by winning individual battles.
One thing that can be said about the defensive front is the quickness is as advertised. They put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, making it hard to complete plays downfield. It will be interesting to see the front seven against an experience championship level offensive line.
Wayne will need to stop the Hoban high-powered running game because Knights like to pound their big backs until they get in a groove. The Knights will most likely run a lot behind their Division I lineman, Rumler and bait the safeties in; the Knights believe the stats don’t lie; that their receivers can beat anyone’s defensive backs one on one.
Wayne will want to score early and often; its offense is capable of outpacing the Knights if the defense can make critical stops. The defense doesn’t have to dominate, just give the offense chances to score. The offense needs to capitalize on those opportunities.