Wayne’s Logan Smith grimaces while grabbing the leg of a Pleasantville wrestler on Jan. 14. Photo by Jason Selby
Wayne wrestling continues to grow under the tenure of head coach Joe Nekvinda, as more Falcons suit up to hit the mats each year. In the early part of its schedule, Wayne has already won 4 duals after winning a total of 5 all of last season. They also finished 7th in the Pride of Iowa Conference tournament against tough competition.
Some other highlights from the first half were beating Centerville 42-32, and getting within 3 points of 2A power Davis County, 39-36. In that same triangular, the Falcons took Moravia into the last match before the final outcome was decided, 45-36. Jan 18, 2016, 11:13
It was tough sledding for senior tailback Carson Kiefer, who went airborne to finish off this run, just a few of his 97 yards rushing. Also pictured is Trent Moore, 8. Photo by Jason Selby
On Oct. 28, wind chills dipped near zero degrees as the moon rose, a bad omen just before Halloween, as Colo-NESCO’s physicality overwhelmed the Falcons during a 43-7 first-round playoff loss at home. It was Wayne’s first ever defeat at Epperly Field.
The past three autumns, a team that would go on to reach the Final Four in Cedar Falls ended Wayne’s year. If Wednesday night’s game was any indication, Colo-NESCO might run that string to four straight. On Monday night, the Royals hit the road again to route District 6 champion and undefeated Moravia 51-20.
“This was a frustrating and disappointing loss to end a successful season,” head coach Bart Elliott said. “There were a lot of little things here and there throughout the game that cost us." Nov 3, 2015, 12:54
Quarterback Trent Moore hits a wide open Keyton Nickell, who would stroll into the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown reception. Blocking for Wayne, just in front of Moore, is Ryan McConahay, 56. Photo by Jason Selby
By the 2nd quarter against Lamoni in Wayne’s regular season gridiron finale, Trent Moore had already thrown 4 touchdown passes, with Keyton Nickell catching 3 of those, 1 for 35 yards between 2 Demon defenders before breaking tackles to cross the goal line.
Moore’s effort pushed him past Wayne’s single-season record with 25 touchdown passes. Not to be outdone, Nickell set the single-season record for touchdown receptions with 13.
In the process, the Falcons cruised to a 64-6 win, while Colo-NESCO lost 12-3 at HLV of Victor, sending the Royals to Corydon this Wednesday for a first-round playoff game against Wayne. Oct 26, 2015, 07:56
Wayne’s Hunter Clark barrels down the field after an over-the-shoulder interception. Photo by Jason Selby
It has been a long drought. After 26 years, the Wayne Falcons football team clinched its first home playoff game since 1989 thanks to a 78-8 victory over Harmony on Fri., Oct. 16. They are secured of the number 2 spot in District 6.
“We played well on both sides of the ball once again,” head coach Bart Elliott said. “We scored several different ways with a lot of guys getting involved. We scored points by passing, rushing, a kick-off return for a touchdown, an interception return for a touchdown, a safety and we also kicked 4 extra points.
“It’s great to get everyone involved on Friday nights. We look to finish out the season strong against Lamoni this Friday.” Oct 19, 2015, 09:51
Nick Mattly forces a fumble that would be recovered by Isaiah Bradford, 51. Photo courtesy of Schick Photography
Wayne’s opportunistic defense hit hard and turned turnovers into points last Friday night, as the Falcons beat the Warriors at Seymour 70-6. In the first half, Trevor Wilson returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, and Keyton Nickell picked off a pass and ran it back 59 yards for another score, putting the game away at halftime 54-6.
Wayne outgained Seymour 436 yards to 146 yards.
“We had another solid performance in all phases of the game,” head coach Bart Elliott said. “They completed some passes, but it was great to return 2 interceptions for touchdowns. Trevor and Keyton made nice plays on the ball and got a few blocks to take them back all the way." Oct 12, 2015, 10:21