HUBER HEIGHTS — The Wayne Warriors (2-1) host the Miamisburg Vikings (3-0) on Friday at Wayne High School.
Miamisburg rolls into Good Samaritan Athletic Field at Heidkamp Stadium, fresh off of a 41-6 drubbing of Loveland Tigers last Friday. The Vikings dominated the Tigers by allowing only 147 yards total offense, 129 rushing and 18 yards passing. The Vikings harassed the Tigers’ quarterback, sacking him 4 times. The Viking offense rolled up 331 yards rushing and added 90 yards through the air.
Last year Wayne spoiled Miamisburg’s delayed grand opening of their new home, Eudon Holland Stadium. The Vikings were energized by the pregame activities and the excitement of playing in their beautiful new venue. Miamisburg played inspired football and kept its crowd into it for most of the game, even though Wayne scored a touchdown with 4:25 left on the clock until halftime. Miamisburg score its first touchdown with 45 seconds left until halftime, making it 17-6 (kick failed). When the Vikings opened up the second half with another touchdown making it 17-12 (run failed), the crowd’s intensity increased. Wayne finally asserted itself and pulled away for a 45-12 win.
The Vikings have to feel pretty good coming into this game with all of the success they have had this year and the way they played Wayne last year in the first three quarters.
When Miamisburg has the ball
The Vikings are going put a lot of pressure on Wayne’s front seven. Even though Miamisburg no longer has 6’6” 306 lbs. Josh Meyers, who is now an Ohio State Buckeye, they haven’t had any problem running the ball this season. Miamisburg has 1060 yards rushing, which averages out to 353 yards per game. In the Viking running game, senior Tony Clark carries gets of the workload, carrying the ball 45 times for 373 yards, but Miamisburg has handed the ball off to 17 different players this year. As team Miamisburg averages 8.1 yards per carry.
The Vikings don’t throw the ball much, but when they do junior Tate Vongsy has been efficient. Vongsy has completed 20 of his 30 attempted passes for 373 yards with only 1 interception and 6 touchdowns. His prime target is senior Tyler Johnson, who has caught 13 passes for 186 and 4 touchdowns.
The Vikings are a primarily running team and will want to stablish the run, but they can pass the ball. Miamisburg coach Steve Channell’s coaches a disciplined Wing-T offense. This offense uses deception and quickness to get defenders out of place so the defense has to play disciplined up front. Wayne’s coaches do a great job of preparing their team each week. They have started to see some fruit as Wayne’s defense has gelled and eliminated errors weekly. This game will be a good opportunity for the Warriors defense to show it can shut down a prolific running game.
When Wayne has the ball
Miamisburg likes to get after the quarterback. It has 8 sacks on the season, led by Senior Carter Brown with 4.5 sacks. The Vikings have gathered in 2 Interceptions and have given up an average of 18 points per game.
Rashad McKee has moved beyond being a game manager. Right now he is the number three passer in the GWOC. He has taken a lot more hits this year, but has stuck in there and made good throws in the face of heavy pressure. McKee’s recognition of what is in front of him has improved greatly and he has started to trust his receivers more. His growth is noticeable and the coaches seem to have given him a little more liberty.
Wayne’s running game has been effective at time and at times out of sync. Wayne needs to get its running game on track to keep the Miamisburg defense honest. Wayne doesn’t want Miamisburg pinning its ears back and being able to blitz McKee unhindered.
Sometimes the passing lanes don’t seem to be there, forcing McKee to have to move around. Though the big runs in crucial situations are drive savers, no one wants their quarterback running often. Right now McKee is Wayne’s leading rusher in carries (25) and yards (128).
Wayne has found new ways of getting the ball into L’Christian Smith’s (Blue) hands to the tune of 21 catches for 315 yards and a TD. Look to see the Warriors to continue this trend. McKee has started to understand that some coverage on Blue doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t get it to him. McKee is also becoming a little more confident getting the ball downfield.
Justin Harris is averaging 30 yards per kickoff return and has been very close to taking one all the way for a touchdown. Don’t get up to get a pretzel on the kickoff because you may miss something.
The kicking duties for Wayne are being shared between Garrett Russell and Trevor Hawley. Both are fairly new to placekicking but are very capable kickers. Hawley kicked a 34-yarder last week.
Miamisburg senior Jay Vinson averages 26 yards per return and may be the only real threat on the Vikings’ special teams.
Miamisburg placekicker Colin Dillon has missed 3 of his 20 extra points.
Wayne should just have to at least slow down the Miamisburg running game and not turn the ball over to win this game. If the Wayne offensive line can protect McKee and open some running and passing lanes, then it shouldn’t be too tough to get the win.