So much for Wayne being vulnerable compared to recent Warriors seasons.
There wasn’t much to accurately compare Wayne to after games against Pittsburgh’s Pine-Richland, Olentangy Liberty of suburban Columbus and an Ontario, Canada, prep school. That all changed with an impressive 56-28 defeat of previously unbeaten Miamisburg in a Week 4 game on Friday.
“I did challenge (the team),” reflected Wayne coach Jay Minton. “I asked them, what’s our identity? What kind of identity do we have here at Wayne? The first three games, nobody can define us. We can’t even define us. Leaving your legacy is a process and we need to make this a big part of our process. Hopefully, it will be.”
»NORTHMONT STREAK: Thunderbolts zap Aviators, 48-13
»THE BOYS ARE BACK: Hartsock and Pendleton on Facebook Live
»STATE POLLS: Is your team ranked?
»MAC SHOWDOWN: Round 2 for Coldwater and Marion Local?
»THEY’RE NO. 1: Trotwood, Marion Local and Minster
That 41-0 season-opening meltdown at Pine-Richland? Bad karma.
“The first week really didn’t define us,” Wayne quarterback Rashad McKee said after putting a career-high 335 yards passing on Miamisburg and figuring in six touchdowns. “The second and third week, we were trying to pick it up and show that we’re still a high caliber team.”
Wayne (3-1) is at Northmont (3-1) in a Week 5 Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover matchup on Friday. Both teams have won three straight games. Minton likes how the Warriors have responded since that Week 1 letdown.
“This right now could be a defining moment in our season,” he said. “I know it’s only the fourth week but it really could define us.”
• Sidney running back Isaiah Bowser is making a run for area history. With the career-high 413 yards rushing – and six touchdowns – he put on Xenia in a 55-48 win he has 1,243 yards rushing through four games. That likely leads the state and puts him on pace to surpass the epic 2,000-yard barrier in a 10-game regular season.
It also demands a comparison to the area’s all-time, single-season rushing leader, Trotwood-Madison senior Ra’veion Hargrove. As a sophomore in 2015 Hargrove hit 3,039 yards rushing in 13 games. However, he had 865 yards after Week 4. That’s 378 yards less than Bowser.
Hargrove ran for 1,932 yards that regular season, but had a midseason hiccup with a combined 53 yards in Weeks 6-8. After that, the Bowling Green State University commit went off.
Bowser, a Northwestern commit, has 135 carries and has scored 16 touchdowns. Sidney (4-0) hasn’t won a league football title since the last of the 30-0 era in 1970. The Yellow Jackets also are bidding for their first postseason since its only appearance in 1989. To do that it’ll have to shore up a leaky defense: Xenia is winless.
• The GWOC has five unbeaten teams: Sidney (American North), Trotwood (American South), and Centerville, Beavercreek and Fairmont (all National East). All are 4-0.
Beavercreek hosts Fairmont in Week 5. With 805 yards rushing Beavercreek senior Kaden Wenger also is on pace for 2,000 yards. He went for 319 yards rushing and two scores in a 41-35 double-OT defeat of visiting Lebanon on Thursday.
Just as noteworthy, Beavercreek is in great position to earn its first playoff appearance. After four weeks, the entire GWOC National East makes up five of the top eight D-I, Region 3 positions. The top eight qualify for the postseason.
• Oakwood (3-1) continues to ridge its high-powered offense in a bid to post its first winning season since 2008. The Lumberjacks won 21-7 at Monroe. Senior QB Brian Erbe remains the Southwestern Buckeye League passing leader (1,130 yards; 12 touchdowns; two picks). Oakwood also is tops in the 14-team league in total points (135).
Oakwood has had four 5-5 seasons, including three straight from 2013-15, since going 8-4 and two games into the D-IV postseason in 2008.
• Franklin and Valley View, both 4-0, are the only unbeaten SWBL teams. Germantown will be hopping when the Spartans host the Wildcats in a Week 5 showdown. Franklin blew out Valley View 41-8 last season.
• Belmont (4-0) has it all going as the best Dayton City League team. The Bison have outscored opponents a combined 137-3 and should be unbeaten going into the D-II postseason.
• Greeneview (4-0) is in great position to run through the Ohio Heritage Conference. The Rams defeated Mechanicsburg 17-14 on Friday in a battle of unbeatens.
• Bethel (4-0) hasn’t scored less than 45 points in separating itself in the Cross Country Conference as its only remaining unbeaten team.
• The Midwest Athletic Conference is loaded with unbeaten Marion Local, Anna and St. Henry, all at 4-0.
• There is just one Week 5 game on Thursday: Springboro at Centerville at 7 p.m. (ABC 22 / FOX 45, Ch. 45.2, Ch. 995, Spectrum, mytvdayton.com).