- Eyes On
By the time the game experienced its first downpour, the Wapakoneta Redskins had already rained 28 points on the scoreboard.
The Redskins scored four touchdowns a little more than 15 minutes of game action and then added a special teams TD to stabilize the rout early in Friday’s varsity football contest against the Defiance Bulldogs.
The Redskins rolled to a 52-7 victory Friday in Defiance in the median game of the Western Buckeye League schedule.
Wapak appeared on the scoreboard first with a 16-play, 60-yard drive that included two fourth-down conversions.
Zach Schmerge scored his first of three rushing TDs to cap the opening scoring drive.
“It was a good way to start the ball game,” Wapak varsity coach Doug Frye said about the opening drive. “We haven’t taken a long road trip yet. We were concerned about the trip and coming out with the right focus.”
Schmerge and junior quarterback Kodi Morgan each had two rushing touchdowns to account for Wapak’s first four TDs. All four TDs came from 2 yards out.
After Morgan’s second TD, the Redskins defense forced a 3-and-out.
Defiance’s punt by Yzeric Barnhart was blocked by Wapak sophomore defensive back Cameron Lauck, who blocked a PAT last Friday against Celina, and recovered in the end zone by senior defensive end Casey Stauffer.
“It was a good job by our kids,” Frye said. “We haven’t done a great job punt blocks this year, so it was good to see that.”
The special teams score gave Wapak a 35-0 lead with 7:48 left in the second quarter.
Defiance’s first TD came with 5:01 before halftime, as Austin Hancock scored from 1 yard out on his only carry of the night.
Schmerge scored his third and final TD of the night with 49 seconds left before halftime, as the Redskins entered intermission with a 42-7 lead.
Midway through halftime, a 30-minute lightning delay was announced.
The minimum delay expired and the two teams resumed the contest, and the Redskins picked up right where they left off.
Morgan added his third rushing TD of the night at 9:04 in the third quarter.
Wapak senior kicker Bailey Hinegardner added a 28-yard field goal to finish the scoring with 4:06 left in the third. He also booted seven successful PATs.
Defiance committed five turnovers in the loss Friday.
Wapak junior cornerback Quinn Lotridge recorded two interceptions, while sophomore defensive end Corey Crawford, senior Logan Martin and Morgan each recovered one fumble.
Lotridge now has six interceptions this season.
The Redskins tallied 296 rushing yards Friday with 11 different ball carriers seeing action.
Schmerge finished 146 yards on 22 carries, with 124 yards coming in the first half.
Morgan completed three passes in each half totaling 105 yards.
Keaton Metz was Wapak’s leading receiver Friday with 65 yards on two catches.
Frye explained why his team was successful Friday.
“We were physical and executed well,” Frye said. “We came to play, were running around and were excited about the game.”
Defiance quarterback Will Batt managed 258 yards passing in the wet conditions Friday.
“He’s good,” Frye said of Batt. “He scrambles and he moves. He’s very athletic. I thought he did a nice job tonight.”
Wapak has now won four straight games and remains one game back of WBL leader Kenton, which beat Wapak in Week 2 in the league opener and defeated Ottawa-Glandorf 34-10 Friday.
The Redskins are in the thick of the postseason race after being placed second in the region Tuesday.
Defiance (3-3, 3-2) entered Friday’s game sixth in Division III, Region 8, looking to solidify its positioning.
Wapak (5-1, 4-1) will make another road trip in WBL play next Friday, as the Redskins will take on the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans (3-3, 2-3).
Wapakoneta: Zach Schmerge 22-146; Keaton Metz 8-40; Logan Martin 6-36; Jared Cockerell 8-36; Kodi Morgan 7-16; Jon Eaton 4-15; Adam Henderson 2-4; Dylan Kuehl 2-4; Aaron Huffman 2-2; Jared Smith 1-(-1); Cameron Lauck 1-(-2). Defiance: Will Batt 10-8; Austin Hancock 1-1; Seth Meyer 1-0; Derek Relyea 2-(-15).
Wapakoneta: Morgan 6-9 105; Huffman 0-1 0. Defiance: Batt 22-50 258; Braden Frederic 1-3 32.
Wapakoneta: Metz 2-65; Nate Posada 3-22; Smith 1-18.