High School Football: Waynesville grabs early momentum, rolls past Oakwood

WAYNESVILLE — The Waynesville High School football team needed just three plays to grab the momentum against Oakwood — and never looked back.

Senior Connor Berrey’s 78-yard catch-and-run TD reception from junior Alex Amburgy on the third play from scrimmage gave the Spartans a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 45-14 victory over the Lumberjacks in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division action on Thursday night at Spartan Community Stadium.

“It was a third-and-medium play and really just hit a simple curl route there, had one missed tackle and (Berrey) broke it off for a long touchdown,” said Spartans coach Ben Johnson. “I feel like that just really got our momentum rolling.”

Junior Garrett Lundy rushed for three touchdowns, Amburgy threw two TD passes to Berrey and rushed for another as Waynesville improved to 4-1 for the second time in three seasons.

Senior Stephen Lauterbach threw TD passes of 13 and 4 yards to junior Jackson Thobe as the Lumberjacks fell to 2-3 and 0-2 in the SWBL Buckeye Division.

After Berrey’s TD, Lundy scored on runs of 2 and 4 yards to give the Spartans a 22-0 first quarter lead. Amburgy rushed for a 26-yard TD early in the second quarter to extend their lead to 28-0.

Oakwood responded with a 13-yard TD pass from Lauterbach to Thobe to cut the lead to 28-7. The Lumberjacks got the ball back, but with less than a minute remaining Waynesville senior Carter Barnthouse intercepted a pass.

“We’ve been doing a great job in our victories so far this year of getting scores before halftime,” Johnson said. “For whatever reason we’ve been fortunate with the circumstances of the game and guys have been stepping up and making plays. This one was set up by our defense.”

With six seconds remaining, Amburgy found Berrey again on a 40-yard TD strike to make it 35-7.

“It was third-and-long and that was just a couple kids (in Amburgy and Berrey) that have really great chemistry,” Johnson said. “They’ve been playing together for several years, and they just made a play. … We were out of timeouts, so we knew we had to take a shot at it. We figured it would at least be a 50-50 ball, it was actually pretty open, and Alex put it on the money.”

Lauterbach found Thobe on a 4-yard TD pass to start the third quarter, but the Lumberjacks couldn’t get any closer.

“We had some momentum going and we shot ourselves in the foot,” Oakwood coach Butch Snider said.

Berrey hit a 30-yard field goal and Lundy scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter to give the Spartans a 45-14 advantage.

Snider was disappointed with his team’s performance against one of their biggest rivals.

“I don’t know what I just saw,” he said. “I don’t coach that, we don’t coach that, we don’t do that, we don’t practice that. I don’t have an explanation right now. Our kids have been working hard, doing all the little things, all kinds of extra stuff all year long. That’s the worst we’ve played tonight.

The Lumberjacks will look to get back on track next weekend when they travel to Valley View (4-0, 1-0 SWBL Buckeye Division).

“I’m really disappointed right now, but we’ve got to figure out how to fix it,” Snider said. “We can’t play like this and expect to win.”

Waynesville won its fourth straight game after a season-opening loss to rival Clinton-Massie. They host Ross in a SWBL crossover game next Friday night.

“They’re going to be big and physical and athletic,” Johnson said. “We’ll have to bring our A-game for sure. Our league is just tough. Everybody in our league is well-coached and they’re going to give you their A-game every Friday night. We’ve got to have our A-game every night. We’ve got to prepare week-in-and-out like this is the championship game.”

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