SHERWOOD – Although they got out to a bit of a slow start, Wauseon exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter while on their way to a 42-10 rout of Fairview on the opening night of the football season Friday.
It was the Apaches who began the game with the ball, and they were able to have some initial success against the Indian defense.
On third and seven from their own 32 yard line, Fairview’s Timmy Timbrook picked up 13 yards around the right end to move the chains. However, two plays later a fumbled snap pushed the Apaches back to their own 40, and on what was a third and 30, a four yard completion to Timbrook was well short of the line to gain.
Wauseon moved the ball methodically down the field on their first possession of the game. They scored on a 22 yard burst from Mason Creager, and after an extra point for Josh Whitcomb, led 7-0 at the 4:45 mark of the opening quarter.
Neither squad could dent the scoreboard in the final four minutes and that 7-0 margin carried over into the second quarter.
“We knew that they were going to be better than last year,” said Wauseon coach Travis Cooper of the Apaches. “I think it was, we were kind of taking their temperature. We were gauging what they were going to do and how they were gonna be. And they were probably better than our guys were expecting in our heads.”
However, the Indians put the Apaches on their heels in the second quarter as quarterback JJ Kauffman, on the second play of the quarter, ran 63 yards down the left sideline for a score to put them up 14-0.
Another quick possession for Fairview allowed Wauseon to score again.
On the first play of their drive, Brendan Wilson took a hand off up the middle 60 yards to pay dirt and the Indians led 21-0 with 9:47 left until halftime.
“It was a game of big plays,” noted Cooper. “And that’s something we’ve been waiting to see this preseason and I was glad to finally see that.”
Fairview drew a roughing the passer penalty on the Indians on a third and a mile on their next possession. However, the Apaches could not score off it. A sack for Wauseon’s Jacob Raabe on Wyatt Puffinberger on third and eight from their own 32 ended the drive.
It also set up a 55 yard punt return touchdown for Mason Creager, his second score of the game, which put his team up 28.
“He was a game breaker,” said Cooper of Creager. “You know he even had some big plays that were called back because of penalties. He was as advertised.”
A 22 yard passing strike from Kauffman to Luke Rychener set the Indians up with a first down from the Apache 32 with 4:08 left in the half. The Apaches committed a face mask penalty on the next play to put Wauseon even closer. Then sophomore Everett Bueter capped the drive off with a 19 yard TD run which made it an insurmountable 35-0 advantage.
“We got it going,” said Cooper of the second quarter scoring explosion. “Once the floodgates opened, it was all over then. I was really pleased to see how our guys responded.”
Fairview did get their only TD of the contest before the end of the half. It was Timbrook who put the exclamation point on a lengthy drive with a one yard plunge as time in the first half expired.
However, the Indians enforced the OHSAA running clock rule after they went back up by 35 on their first drive of the third quarter. Bueter, on second and three from the Indians’ 31, ran left and made a nice cut back for the longest score of the game to make it a 42-7 game.
That score lasted until the fourth quarter when Fairview kicker Patrick Voirol drilled a 28 yard field goal to equal the final score.
The Indians had a total of five rushing TDs, led by Wilson who finished with 113 yards on eight carries and a score. Bueter ran for 88 yards on just two carries with a pair of scores.
Wauseon travels to Fostoria (1-0) next week for their week two match-up.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010