Wayne defensive end Ryan McConahay grabs hold of Moravia quarterback Hunter Arbogast's jersey during the Falcons' 40-22 win on Sept. 2. Photo courtesy of Schick Photography
SCORING STREAKS BY BOTH TEAMS, POWER OUTAGE IN 2ND HALF MAKE WAYNE’S 40-22 VICTORY ONE TO REMEMBER
For the 2nd straight week, the officials stopped Wayne’s football game. This time, it was not lightning, but a power outage on Moravia’s field that halted play in the 2nd half.
The Falcons scored the first 3 touchdowns of the game on Fri., Sept. 2 on the road. But thanks to turnovers, penalties, early struggles on offense and a few big plays by the Mohawks, Moravia stormed back to take a 22-18 lead by halftime.
“This was a tough physical battle on both sides of the ball,” head coach Bart Elliott said. “This game really can be broken up into 3 different sections. At the beginning, we played well, moved the ball on the ground and through the air, getting out to an 18-0 lead. Our defense held strong in slowing down their offense. During the 2nd quarter we hit a rough patch on both sides of the ball.”
In the 3rd quarter, the lights went out in Moravia. After a lengthy delay, with the field lights shining again, Wayne’s defense rose to the occasion to blank the Mohawks in the 2nd half. The Falcons pulled away, winning 40-22.
For those keeping track, that was an 18-point run by Wayne, a 22-point run by Moravia, followed by a 22-point run by Wayne.
“The 2nd half was much better on both sides of the ball and on special teams,” Elliott said. “Alex Chapman made a great punt return in the 3rd quarter for us to take the lead. Our defense played very well, including our defensive line. Ryan McConahay had an outstanding game at defensive end, leading the team in tackles and tackles for loss, putting pressure on the quarterback all night.
“The offensive line led the way for Trevor Wilson and Nick Mattly to finish the game off with 2 outstanding TD runs. All this led to a much-improved Wayne football team in the 2nd half.”
The Falcons outgained Moravia 248 yards to 185 yards and outplayed their opponent on special teams. Wayne took the lead for good on Chapman’s 35-yard punt return for a touchdown. Wilson was also solid at punter, averaging 35 yards. Matt Bellon recorded 3 touchbacks while kicking off. Wilson added a 21-yard kickoff return.
Blake Moore was back at quarterback, completing 5 of 20 passes for 90 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Wilson led the rushing and receiving offense with 107 yards and 1 touchdown on 19 carries, while catching 2 passes for 42 yards.
Mattly rushed 6 times for 39 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run. Chasen Kiefer rushed once for 2 yards.
Chapman caught a 33-yard touchdown pass, and tight end Troy Arnold hauled in 2 passes for 15 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown from Moore.
The defense got pressure on quarterback Hunter Arbogast and sacked him 6 times, led by McConahay with 2.5 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss, while the junior had a hand in 15 tackles. He finished off the game by combining with Spencer Buban to sack Arbogast for a safety.
Isaiah Bradford had 1.5 sacks, Bellon 1 solo sack, while Connor Runyon assisted on another sack.
Wilson had 9 tackles, Stetson Baker 6 tackles, Mattly 5 tackles, Bellon and Moore 4.5 tackles, Chapman and Brooks Jacobsen 3 tackles, Ben Saunders and Runyon 2.5 tackles, Kyle Andrews 2 tackles, Bradford and Buban 1.5 tackles, and 1 tackle each from Hunter Clark and Hunter Cobb.
Buban and Runyon each recovered a fumble. Saunders returned 1 kickoff for 5 yards, while Runyon gained 1 yard.
“I was very proud to see our team handle some adversity after Moravia scored 3 times in a row to take the lead,” Elliott said. “We stayed together and played some great team football, getting contributions from guys all over the field.”
With the win, the Falcons moved to 2-0 on the season.
Wayne begins conference play at 2-0 Lenox on Fri., Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., before returning home Sept. 16 to play Stanton.