Wayne coach Jay Minton was asked more than a few times why the Warriors scheduled a powerhouse such as Archbishop Hoban in Week 3.
“You need to find where you’re at,” Minton said.
Wayne learned in its 47-28 home loss Friday night that Hoban was the better team, however, Minton is hopeful the contest offered some season-altering lessons.
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“We’re going to use it as development,” Minton said. “…We don’t want that feeling [of losing] again. We’ve got the makings of a championship team in that locker room.”
For 3 1/2 quarters, Wayne was every bit as good as the Akron-based Knights, who won a Division II state title last year.
The two squads traded the lead seven times before Hoban flexed its state champion muscle late in the game.
Wayne’s undoing started at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Trailing 33-28, the Warriors couldn’t convert on four consecutive rushing attempts up the middle from Hoban’s 1-yard-line.
“Credit them, that’s the mark of a championship team,” Minton said. “That changes the whole complexion…it was so deflating and if it happens to us again, then we’ve got to learn to handle that and not let it define us.”
Quarterback Rashad McKee was stuffed on the first, second and fourth attempts, while Alijah Fleming came up short on third try.
Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell called the goal line stand, “Huge.”
“It was a turning point for hopefully the season, that our kids showed a little heart down there, against a good football team,” he said.
Wayne forced a punt on Hoban’s ensuing possession, got the ball back and looked poised to re-take the lead until disaster struck. McKee connected with Kaelan Turner on a 7-yard pass that was fumbled at the Hoban 15.
Three plays later, running back Deamonte Trayanum hit the jackpot for Hoban on a 55-yard touchdown run to give the visitors a 40-28 lead.
Tyris Dickerson finished the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:09 remaining in the game.
Wayne struggled with Hoban’s rushing attack, surrendering 393 yards on the ground. Dickerson rushed 24 times for 151 yards, Trayanum carried six times for 97 yards, and quarterback Shane Hamm added 128 yards on 11 carries.
Hamm was also effective through the air, completing 10 of 23 passes for 190 yards. His lone touchdown reception was caught by 6-foot-5, 260-pound Alabama tight end commit Caden Clark.
Wayne’s running backs totaled just 36 yards on nine carries. McKee led the team in rushing with 63 yards.
It became clear after Wayne’s first two drives that running the ball was going to be tough against Hoban’s defense. That’s when McKee went to work in the passing game, finishing 22 of 45 for 307 yards and two interceptions (although the last one came in the final seconds of the game).
Cam Fancher was the biggest beneficiary of the Warriors attack, catching seven balls for 138 yards and a touchdown. Steven Victoria added seven grabs for 87 yards and a score.
Ja’rod Lankford scored what few would have suspected would be Wayne’s final points of the game with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 1:53 left in the first half.
Wayne fell to 2-1 and will try to rebound against Miamisburg on Friday. Hoban improved to 3-0.