If defense wins championships, Wayne looks like they’ve got a pretty good one to get the job done.
While it’s still a long way until the playoffs, the Wayne High football team made a pretty good statement with its defense Friday night, limiting an explosive Columbus Lakeview offense to just 133 yards in total offense to come away with an exciting 14-11 win in the Blue Devils’ home opener Friday at Wayne State College’s Cunningham Field.
A loud a vocal Memorial Stadium crowd had to keep it going until the final minute of the game, when a 30-yard field goal attempt by Mason Klug veered wide left with :37 to go, helping the Blue Devils seal their third win in as many tries this season.
After a scoreless first quarter, Wayne’s defense broke the ice when Victor Kniesche tackled the running back in the end zone for a safety to make it 2-0.
Lakeview would score a touchdown on their next possession, but Wayne reclaimed the lead later in the period on a 19-yard touchdown run by Reid Korth.
Klug hit a 37-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 9-8 halftime advantage, but Wayne took the lead for good in the third when Korth scored again, this time on a 1-yard plunge to make it 14-9.
Wayne would give up a safety in the fourth quarter and Lakeview had two drives get deep in to Wayne field position, but the Blue Devil defense rose to the occasion and kept the visitors from mounting a fourth-quarter comeback.
Korth finished with 131 yards on 24 carries to lead the Wayne High offensive attack. Kniesche added 60 yards on nine carries. Tanner Walling was 6-of-7 for 72 yards, five of those passes going to Layne Evans, who had 69 yards receiving.
Top honors defensively went to Kniesche, who had 13 tackles on the night. Korth and Evans both had seven stops and Walling and Mike Leatherdale each had six, with Leatherdale recording three tackles for losses.
It doesn’t get easier for the fourth-ranked Blue Devils, as they host No. 5 Ashland-Greenwood in a rematch of last year’s state playoff quarterfinal matchup on Friday at 7 p.m. at Wayne State College.
Other Area Scores
Allen 34, Bloomfield 16 (Thursday)
Wakefield 50, Stanton 14
Pender 46, Winside 14
LCC was idle