The tone was set early.
The Wauseon Indians, under Mark Emans, head coach, had a simple game plan: run, run and run the football again against the high-powered offense of the Archbold Blue Streaks.
The Indians played a nearperfect game and recorded a 38-20 Northwest Ohio Athletic League victory, Friday, Oct. 19.
Wauseon improves to 6-3, 6- 1 in league play. The Streaks, suffering back-to-back losses, drop to 6-3, 5-2 NWOAL.
The Indians used an effective ground game to regain the coveted Lions Club Trophy, rushing for a total of 391 yards. Their celebration at midfield capped off a dominating performance from the ground game, with a pair of backs rushing for over 100 yards.
Mitch Huner led the way with 139 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Colin Hughes chewed up 136 yards on 27 carries and four TDs.
“This was a big win for us,” said Emans. “For us to hold Archbold down like we did shows our defense played very well. Offensively we did some great things; we kept the ball out of Archbold’s hands.
“We controlled the line of scrimmage, and when we do that we will be successful.”
Wauseon last won the Lions Club Trophy in 2005 and had its sights set on reclaiming the gold on its home turf.
Archbold opened with the ball but was forced to punt. The Indians went right to work, with a 13-play drive covering 79 yards as Hughes crossed the goal line from 8 yards out.
It wasn’t just the Wauseon offense that came to play; the defense stepped up to the line and forced Archbold again into a punting situation. Wauseon responded with Hughes crossing the goal line from 1 yard out and a 14-0 lead.
The Streaks came right back as Gene Goering connected with Coltin Martinez on a 51-yard TD pass. Goering spotted Martinez in the middle of the field, and the senior receiver sprinted past would-be defenders for the Streaks’ first score.
The Blue and Gold defense stiffened on the next series, forcing an Indian punt.
Archbold closed the gap to 14- 13 on a Goering to Jacob Fidler 25-yard pass. The Streaks elected to go for two points following a penalty that left them at the 1-yard line, but the Wauseon defense stopped Goering short of the goal line to end the first half.
“Their offensive line just beat the crap out of our defense,” said John Downey, AHS head coach. “That was real disappointing. I thought we could stay in there, and we just got manhandled.”
Defense Holds; Offense Uses 3 Yards And A Cloud Of Dust
Wauseon went right to work to start the second half. Taking the kickoff, Hughes picked up 16 yards, and then 6 yards on his next carry. He carried again for 6 yards, Jared Marks picked up 6, and Huner added 12.
Hughes ran the next four plays, picking up 3 yards each time. He capped off the scoring drive with a 17-yard run for a 21-13 Wauseon lead.
The Indians added a 21-yard field goal from Clay Simpkins to boost their advantage to 24-13.
The Indian ground game wasn’t done yet. The host continued to chew up yards and the clock, upping the lead to 31-13 on a Hughes 2-yard run.
On the other side of the ball, the Streaks were struggling, not only on defense, but on offense as well.
Archbold came into the game averaging 41.7 points per game.
Goering finished with 194 yards passing, connecting on 15 of 27, while the Indian defense registered a total of three sacks on the Blue and Gold.
“In hindsight we probably should have put David (Rupp) in there, and then we could have run,” said Downey. “The injury (an ankle injury) was probably bothering Gene more and we should have let him get healed up.”
The Streaks crossed the goal line on a David Rupp 1-yard run. The Indians added one more score on a Huner 21-yard run with 2:26 remaining for the 38-20 final.
“The bottom line is, Wauseon just controlled the ball and they just beat us up,” said Downey.
The Streaks finish their regular season Friday, Oct. 26 when they host Liberty Center. AHS 0 13 0 7 – 20 WHS 7 7 10 14 – 38
WHS-Hughes 8-yard run (PAT-Simpkins kick)
WHS-Hughes 1-yard run (PAT-Simpkins kick)
AHS-Martinez 61-yard pass from Goering (PAT-Downey kick)
AHS-Fidler 25-yard pass from Goering
WHS-Hughes 17-yard run (PATSimpkins kick)
WHS-Simpkins 21-yard field goal
WHS-Hughes 2-yard run (PAT-Simpkins kick)
AHS-Rupp 1-yard run (PAT-Downey kick)
WHS-Huner 21-yard run (PAT-Simpkins kick)