For the past four seasons, Miamisburg High School entered its early-season matchup against Wayne undefeated, with the Warriors always halting the Vikings’ winning streak.
Not this year.
Miamisburg blanked Wayne in the second half and posted a 30-13 win at home Friday night.
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“To beat a perennial state power at the D-1 level like Wayne — and the way our kids played, the way our crowd was — it’s one of the best nights in Miamisburg football history,” Miamisburg coach Steve Channell said.
Channell noted his team’s grittiness in victory, exemplified by senior Jon Yerkins, who rushed 15 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a key interception of Wayne’s Rashad McKee early in the fourth quarter with the Vikings up 10.
Wayne started the contest looking deadset on rebounding from its Week 3 loss to Division II powerhouse Archbishop Hoban.
The Warriors drove the length of the field on their first two possessions, but came way with field goals instead of touchdowns.
“It played a big role in the momentum of the game,” Wayne coach Jay Minton said. “We only came up with three points each time.”
Channell saw it the same way.
“With their explosiveness and what they’ve done to us the last several years, to hold them to two field goals was huge,” he said.
Trailing 6-0, but having limited Wayne’s damage, Miamisburg put together an 80-yard drive, culminating with a 7-yard run from Yerkins with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter. A missed point after left the game tied, 6-6.
The game continued to trend in Miamisburg’s direction when McKee was intercepted by Jamahl Evans at Wayne’s 35-yard line.
The Vikings made quick work of the Warriors defense on the ensuing possession, as Yerkins ran with ease through the trenches en route to a 35-yard touchdown with 7:09 remaining in the half, giving Miamisburg a 13-6 lead.
“As soon as I got the ball, I saw the hole, and nobody was there, and I didn’t look back,” Yerkins said.
A Colin Dillon 25-yard field goal made it 16-6.
The speed at which Wayne can strike caught up with Miamisburg before halftime with McKee taking the Warriors 60 yards in 53 seconds. Aided by a defensive pass interference penalty on the Vikings, McKee scored with 31 seconds remaining on a 2-yard touchdown run.
“We’ve been here before the last past two years,” he said. “What have we learned and what is this football team going to do about that?,” Channell asked his team at halftime.
The answer was blank Wayne in the second half.
Miamisburg featured Yerkins and and quarterback Tate Vongsy in the ground game to open the third quarter.
Miamisburg ate up almost 4 1/2 minutes of clock before Vongsy found Dylan Wudke for an 11-yard touchdown.
The Vikings’ ground game further tortured Wayne’s defense in the fourth stanza, taking up seven minutes of game clock on one possession.
“Typical Miamisburg football,” Channell said.
In victory, Miamisburg (4-0) cleared a hurdle, but its race is far from over.
“We’ve got to keep going,” Yerkins said. “It’s not over. It’s only week four. We’ve got six more weeks left, plus the playoffs if we make it there. We’ve got to keep going.”
Minton knows there isn’t any room for error for the Warriors (2-2).
“I know one thing, we lose another one and we’re probably out of the playoffs. We’re in Region III, and that’s becoming a tough region and I don’t know if 7-3 will get us in,” he said. “We’ve got to play with our hair on fire, with that mentality, and go from here.”
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