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McKee throws four TDs to lead Wayne past Springfield

L’Christian “Blue” Smith couldn’t have scripted a better Senior Night at Wayne High School. He caught two touchdown passes in a 28-13 victory Friday over Springfield with former Ohio State Buckeyes star Braxton Miller watching from the stands and another Buckeye and Wayne grad, Robert Landers, enjoying the action as well.

Smith, who announced his verbal commitment to Ohio State in August, showed why his future lies at Ohio Stadium with six catches for 86 yards. He has nine touchdown catches this season.

"I was just looking at it as a another game," Smith said, "but at the same time, that Senior Night was in the back of my mind. I just wanted to make plays, and we came out with the 'W,' so I couldn't be happier."

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Smith and the Warriors could get another home game in the playoffs thanks to this victory. Wayne (7-2, 3-1) entered the game ranked fourth in Division I, Region III and plays at Trotwood-Madison next week.

Springfield (6-3, 1-2) ranked eighth in the region. The Wildcats, who lost their seventh in a row to Wayne, now face a must-win in the final week of the regular season next week at Fairmont, which ranks seventh in the region.

"Win next week, and we're in," Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said.

The Wildcats got off to a strong start against Wayne. On their first drive, Leonard Taylor threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Johnson to give Springfield a 7-0 lead. Taylor completed 15 of 27 passes for 200 yards with three interceptions.

Wayne’s Justin Harris intercepted Taylor on Springfield’s next possession, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-14 from Rashad McKee to Smith.

It was the first of four touchdown passes for McKee, who completed 21 of 32 passes for 326 yards. He has 21 touchdown passes and leads the Greater Western Ohio Conference with 2,309 passing yards.

Wayne took a 14-7 lead with 8:53 left in the second quarter on a 42-yard pass from McKee to Steven Victoria, who led the Warriors with 10 catches for 186 yards.

Springfield cut the deficit to 14-13 on a 4-yard run by Tavion Smoot with 2:36 left in the half. A long pass from Taylor to Johnson set up the score.

It was all Wayne in the second half. Smith caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with 3:43 left in the third quarter. Austin Mullins provided the final touchdown with a 20-yard catch early in the fourth quarter.

"It's a huge win," Wayne coach Jay Minton said. "(Springfield's) on a roll. They've got athletes. They had it going. Our guys stepped up and made plays when they had to make plays."

MORE: Blue Smith talks about senior season

Springfield gained 215 yards in the first half but only 71 in the second half. Smoot led the rushing attack with 63 yards on 12 carries. Michael Brown-Stephens caught four passes for 85 yards.

"We just didn't capitalize on some opportunities we had in the second half," Douglass said. "We had a bad play here and there and a turnover, and they capitalized on the mistakes we made."

Wayne led Springfield 14-13 at halftime, though Springfield outgained Wayne 215-130 in total yards in the first half.

A short pass and long run after the catch by Michael Brown-Stephens seemed to give the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead, but the touchdown was overturned because of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Springfield scored anyway on its first drive when Leonard Taylor threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Johnson.

Wayne’s Justin Harris intercepted Taylor on Springfield’s next possession, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-14 from McKee to Smith.

Wayne took a 14-7 lead with 8:53 left in the second quarter on a 42-yard pass from McKee to Steven Victoria.

Springfield cut the deficit to 14-13 on a 4-yard run by Tavion Smoot with 2:36 left in the half. A long pass from Taylor to Johnson set up the score.

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