Dillon Lain, 12, intercepts a pass against Meskwaki. Photo by Lorenzo Baker-Martinez
Wayne varsity football got off to a good start this year despite temperatures in the 90s, rolling to a 38-6 lead at halftime. The Falcons took advantage of good field position to reach the end zone 6 times in the first half. The defense forced several turnovers and special teams blocked a punt to give Wayne a short field in the early stages of an away game.
“Meskwaki played very aggressive on defense,” Coach Bart Elliott said, “bringing 6, 7 and sometimes 8 guys up to stop our running attack. This caused some problems for us at times throughout the game.”
“We do have several positions where we have some experienced players, but we also have several [positions] where guys were getting varsity experience for the first time. We relied on the experience and leadership of quarterback Dillon Lain.”
Lain threw for 4 touchdowns and ran for 1, with no interceptions, passing for 132 yards. He also intercepted a pass on defense.
Running back Clayton Kiefer led the team in both rushing and receiving, accounting for 6 touchdowns. He finished with 263 yard of total offense. His brother Carson Kiefer led the defense with 6.5 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, while rushing for 41 yards and catching a touchdown pass. Blayde Baker also had 6.5 tackles to lead the team. The Wayne defense was disruptive all night, finishing with 7 sacks.
Wide receiver Trent Carpenter caught 2 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown for an offense that never had to punt.
Despite the convincing victory, Elliott found things the players need to fix.
“We had a bit of a letdown in the second half. Meskwaki plays a shotgun spread offense, working on getting their athletes in space to cause problems for the defense. With a combination of this offense, their athletes and our guys getting tired and bringing subs in that didn't have much experience, they scored 4 touchdowns in the second half including several long passing plays.
“To finish the way we did was disappointing, but overall we did a lot of good things on offense, defense and special teams. Our older guys played well and they realize where we need to improve. Our young guys got much needed experience playing in a varsity game.”
Wayne has a short practice week to prepare for a tough Twin Cedars team with an explosive passing game and a defense that has surrendered only 3 touchdowns in 2 games thus far this season.
Meskwaki was the beginning of a 4-game away stand that ends with perennial power Murray on Sept. 20. Wayne finally returns to Corydon for homecoming on Sept. 27 against Moravia.