Waynesfield-Goshen junior Lake Turner throws the ball Friday in a Northwest Central Conference varsity football against the Perry Commodores in Lima. (Staff photo/William Laney)
LIMA — Waynesfield-Goshen Tiger quarterback Lake Turner issued a declaration prior to their game against the Perry Commodores that the Tigers would get their first win of the year.
Turner and the rest of the team followed through on that promise.
As bad as the first half of the season went for the Tigers, the team’s reaction showed the fans the past was forgotten. While they were not electrifying, they were just efficient enough offensively and lights out defensively in a 14-6 win over Lima Perry.
W-G varsity coach Doug Foley said the win gives the team something to build on over the second half of the schedule.
“Winning is winning,” Foley said. “It is contagious and it heals a lot of wounds. We finally put four quarters of football together and maybe we can build on this in the second half. I am interested to see how we will come out in practice on Monday.”
Turner said the difference between the Tigers’ effort in Week 6 compared to the first five games was effort.
“Perry is one of our rivals,” Turner said “I try to go out and play 100 percent every game. I think the difference for us tonight was we went out and gave 110 or 120 percent. We showed up and finally pulled one out.”
For the game, Turner threw for 103 yards and also led the team in rushing with 49 yards in the win.
While he only completed two of his 18 pass attempts, he made up for the lack of quantity with quality strikes on those two occasions.
The first completion was set up after he scrambled frantically for several seconds before finding a wide open Brandon Turner for a 76-yard score with 33 seconds left in the first half to give the Tigers the lead for good.
The second came on another key completion on a seven-yard out pass again to Brandon Turner. Brandon Turner broke free from a would-be tackler on the third-and-eight play and raced down to the 14-yard line for a 27-yard gain.
Lake Turner then took the ball into the end zone on a 24-yard quarterback keeper two plays later with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Brandon Turner said he knew how important the broken tackle was in keeping the drive alive.
“I just want to do my best for the team,” Brandon Turner said. “We were driving the ball and we needed the first down.”
Perry drew first blood in the first quarter after forcing the Tigers into a three-and-punt situation. The punt netted only 14 yards, giving the Commodores a short field at the W-G 22-yard line.
Perry quarterback Plummie Gardner found Caiden Dicke for a 15-yard score.
The Tigers broke the scoring column in the second quarter when Craig Green and Dylan Hopkins gang-tackled Gardner in the end-zone for a safety to make it 6-2.
It appeared that would be the score at the half, but Lake Turner scampered from sideline to sideline avoid tacklers in the dwindling seconds.
It was then that he found Brandon Turner standing 35 yards down field all by himself for the 76-yard score. It appeared the defensive back had given up his coverage when it appeared Lake Turner would be sacked.
“I actually ran the wrong route on that play,” Brandon Turner said. “The defensive back left me so I got about 10 or 15 yards behind him.
After Lake Turner scored late in the third quarter, Perry threatened to score on three straight possessions, only to be shot down each time by turnovers.
They were in Tiger territory on three straight possessions at the 13, 36, and one-yard lines, only to lose the ball on fumbles each time.
Waynesfield forced a turnover on downs with 2:17 left in the game and managed to run all but four seconds off of the clock. The Commodores ran a trick play and gained 25 yards, but were still short of the goal line.
Turnovers were costly to the Commodores, losing the three fumbles and also losing the ball on an interception.
“It all comes down to we were having a bad snap every four plays,” Perry varsity coach Jesse Kill said. “We made some bonehead mistakes with fumbles and penalties. We didn’t give ourselves a chance."
The win marked the 14th straight year the Tigers have beat Perry.
The Tigers, now 1-5, go for two in a row at Ridgemont against the Golden Gophers next week.
Perry, now 1-5, hosts the Riverside Pirates.
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