COLUMBUS — Wayne could not overcome penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities, falling to Hilliard Davidson 28-21 in a first-round playoff game.
After failed possessions by both teams, the Warriors opened the scoring in on a 9 yard touchdown run by Devin Nelson with 5:34 left in the first quarter.
Three and a half minutes later, Davidson answered when Jordan Hicks broke tackles and rambled 20 yards for a touchdown. Wayne had him stopped short of the first down but Hicks ran through the tackle attempts and took it outside to the end zone.
Jordan Hicks was a pain in Wayne’s side all game. When Davidson needed a big first down or when it got the ball inside the red zone, Hicks was the go-to runner. Hicks amassed 194 yards and accounted for all four Davidson touchdowns.
Wayne had its opportunities; it had three trips inside the red zone, including two inside the 10 that ended with no points. One drive ended in a fumble and two ended on downs. The two drives that ended on downs were made harder by back-to-back penalties on goal-to-goal situations.
On the first drive of the second half with Wayne only down 14-7, Wayne stopped Davidson at the Warrior 25 yard line and forced the Wildcats to attempt a field goal. Wayne blocked the field goal and was seemingly in business, but roughing the snapper was called which gave Davidson the ball at the Wayne 10 and a first down. Two plays later Hicks put Davidson up 21-7.
Wayne drove into Davidson territory and completed a pass inside the Wildcat 20 yard line but after the receiver hit the ground the ball came out and was recovered by Davidson. There is no review in high school so the Wildcats took over.
The Wildcats rode Jordan Hicks all the way down the field and capped off its 4th touchdown drive of the day to go ahead 28-7 with a minute left in the 3rd quarter.
Wayne once again drove the ball down the field on the Wildcats and got the ball inside the 10 yard line only to end the drive on a failed 4th down pass in the end zone.
After a Wayne stop and Wildcat punt, Wayne drove down the field again, but this time it would find pay dirt when Rashad McKee spun out of the arms of a Wildcat rusher and found Devin Nelson streaking down the sidelines for a 31 yard touchdown pass.
Wayne unsuccessfully tried an onside kick but forced a Davidson punt to get the ball back with about 6 minutes left. It drove inside the 10 once again but was set back by a holding penalty. On a 4th and goal play from outside the 10 Cam Fancher took the ball on a reverse and launched a pass that was caught by Steven Victoria in the end zone, however, there was no touchdown call, it was called incomplete and Wayne turned it over on downs.
After a Wildcat punt, Wayne drove inside the 20 again and McKee found Justin Harris from 17 yards out to bring Wayne with 7 with 12 seconds left in the game.
Pass interference on Davidson allowed Wayne to kick from the Davidson 45, where Wayne recovered its onside kick but the kick only went 8 yards.
Davidson took a knee and will now go on to play Springfield next week. Wayne’s season is now over.