Wayne WR L’Christian “Blue” Smith verbally committed to OSU on Sunday. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Wayne hammered by Pennsylvania school in season opener

Quarterback Phil Jurkovec accounted for all six touchdowns in leading Pine-Richland (Pa.) to a 41-0 defeat of visiting Wayne in the GEICO ESPN Football Kickoff on Sunday. The game was shown live on ESPN and was played at Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh.

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The decisive setback snapped a 20-game regular-season unbeaten streak for Wayne, which last lost 19-14 at Centerville in Week 10 of the 2014 season. Wayne entered the contest having mounted a 37-2-1 regular-season record over the last four seasons.

A prized Notre Dame recruit, Jurkovec was everything as advertised, running for three scores and passing for three more. Wayne had no answer for the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder and couldn’t get anything going offensively, either. Pennsylvania high school football utilizes a running clock with a 35-point differential.

Jurkovec fired scoring strikes that covered 29, 28 and 24 yards. He also ran for scores of 64, 23 and 3 yards in a masterful dual-threat display that the Warriors couldn’t stop. His day was done early in the third quarter.

By then Jurkovec had 14 completions in 20 attempts for 238 yards passing. He also had seven rushes for 106 yards, accounting for 344 total yards of offense. He committed to the Irish last year.

Wayne’s best chance to score was early in the second quarter when junior QB Rashad McKee connected with freshman receiver Austin Mullins on a short pass near the goal line. Mullins broke free from a defender, but fumbled before reaching the end zone and Pine-Richland recovered.

McKee was knocked out of the game late in the first half replaced by freshman Cam Fancher. McKee started the second half for the Warriors, but was intercepted by Jordan Campbell, who also caught Jurkovec’s final TD pass on the resulting Rams’ possession.

Wayne lost four fumbles to go with that INT.

It was the season opener for both public-school teams. Wayne was the Division I state runner-up in 2014-15 and is coming off an 11-1-1 season last year. Pine-Richland was the Pennsylvania state runner-up in the 2013-14 seasons.

Prior to the game Wayne senior receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith verbally committed to play football at Ohio State University. He had three catches for 28 yards at the half.

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