Clayton Kiefer, 10, rushes as Blayde Baker, 24, and Tate Van Dyne, 45, look on. Photo by Chris Robins
On Sept. 20, Wayne finished off a long road stand at Murray, in a hard fought game in which the Falcons lost 47-22. Late in the first quarter, Trent Moore found Clayton Kiefer for a 30-yard touchdown pass, taking a lead of 8-6. With 33 seconds left in the half, Kiefer ran 5 yards for a touchdown, pulling to within 19-16 at halftime. Murray took control behind a strong ground attack. Though they only passed for 24 yards, Murray has two strong, fast running backs that Wayne’s defense found difficulty stopping. Wayne fell to 2-2 on the season.
“This was a tough loss to a very good opponent,” Wayne’s head coach Bart Elliott said of 4-1 perennial power Murray. “At times we played very well, but we didn’t play consistent for 4 quarters.”
Consistency is something Elliott has been seeking and stressing to his team throughout the early part of the season. Despite the loss, the game with Murray will be a stepping stone as the Falcons move forward. They hope to have starting quarterback Dillon Lain back before long. His absence has provided valuable experience for Moore, only a sophomore, but Wayne could benefit from Lain’s defense and strong kickoffs.
Murray was a late addition to Wayne’s schedule, when Corning consolidated with Villisca and switched back to 11-man.
“I could have looked for a team to play that we could have beat by 50, but we wanted a challenge and to play a good program like Murray,” Elliot explained. “This will help throughout the rest of the season and into the playoffs. With a combination of turnovers, poor tackling and inconsistent offense they jumped out to a 40-16 lead by the beginning of the 4th quarter. We just have to learn how to take care of the ball and take advantage of opportunities when we have them, especially against a team like Murray. Overall this was a good experience for our entire team.”
Clayton Kiefer again shouldered much of the load in the absence of Lain. He ran for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught 2 passes for 40 yards and another score, while recording 9 tackles. Trent Carpenter and Tyler Jamieson led the team with 3 receptions each. Blayde Baker and Carson Kiefer both had 8 tackles. Ethan Horton recorded 7 tackles and caught 1 pass. Freshman Mitch Sinclair had the team’s lone sack. Moore finished 9 for 22 with 92 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception in his second start.
Wayne returns home next Friday, Sept. 27, to face Moravia for homecoming.