Wayne football coach Jay Minton challenged his Warriors at halftime of Friday’s marquee matchup at Miamisburg.
“Our leadership came into play,” reflected Minton following a decisive 45-12 high school football statement victory in a Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover contest. “We said at halftime how we respond in the second half will determine what kind of team we really are. I’m really proud of our guys.”
The game featured two of the area’s best top-division programs. And it took on added significance with the debut of Holland Field, Miamisburg’s new stadium that replaces historic Harmon Stadium. A capacity crowd of 5,600 initially was forced to exit the stadium because of multiple lightning strikes, which delayed the kickoff for 75 minutes.
Wayne (3-0-1), the Division I state runner-up each of the last two seasons, has owned this series and also posted blowout defeats of Miamisburg in 2014 and 2015. The Warriors are the area’s top ranked D-I program and Miamisburg also is No. 1 in D-II.
Junior running back Tony Clark stirred Miamisburg fans into a frenzy with a 2-yard touchdown dive midway through the third quarter in which he was upended into the end zone. That closed the Vikings’ deficit to 17-12, but the Warriors responded with a familiar second-half script that has served them so well the last three seasons.
Bolstered by touchdown runs of 41 and 12 yards by Josh Foster, Wayne unloaded a game-ending 28-0 run to make it yet another deceiving blowout.
Senior running back Fred Pitts again ignited the Warriors’ ground game, rumbling for 173 yards rushing on 20 carries and scoring on runs of 19 and 17 yards. That productive ground game was balanced by sophomore quarterback Rashad McKee, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 244 yards. He also had two touchdown passes, a 41-yarder to Kevin Wright and 39 yards to L’Christian “Blue” Smith.
“It’s a huge win,” Minton said. “They had a lot of juice down here. This is a special place. It’s going to be a really special place for the Burg for many years to come. They had some juice.”
Clark scored both of Miamisburg’s touchdowns on runs of 3 and 2 yards and paced the Vikings with 143 yards rushing on 23 carries.
“Their ability to run the football was the difference,” Miamisburg coach Steve Channell said. “We’ll be fine. We’re not going to see guys like that every week. They’re going to win a lot of games just like the last few years. It’s going to take a very good football team to beat them. We’re disappointed but we’re not defeated.”
• The game will be replayed on Time Warner Cable channels 1311 (HD), 311 and 99 at 12:30 and 7 p.m. today.