Wauseon struck early and often, going up 20-0 not even nine minutes into the game and cruising to a 48-14 win at Delta in Northwest Ohio Athletic League football Friday.
With the Panthers entering the contest with an 0-8 record, the goal for the Indians – fresh off a big overtime win over Patrick Henry the week prior – was to not have a letdown performance. On that matter, the result was a success as they outgained Delta 430-123.
“We talk about it every week that we gotta be ready to go with whoever’s in front of us,” stated Wauseon coach Shawn Moore. “It’s a strong league. Delta’s down a little bit, but they’ve been playing hard. And we knew that they were gonna play physical and we had to be ready to go.”
Wauseon threatened to score on their first possession, using a 35-yard run from Isaac Wilson to get into the red zone. However two plays later, Noah Tester took a toss for about five yards down to the 15-yard line, then was stripped and the Panthers recovered.
Delta went three-and-out from there and Wauseon would take over in Panther territory for their second possession. They went up 7-0 on a quarterback draw as Cody Figy took it in from 13 yards out and Samuel Blanco added the extra point.
A Jonas Tester interception set the Indians up for their second score of the opening quarter. The touchdown was a bubble screen to tight end Sean Brock who did the rest, running 12 yards for the score and a 14-0 Indian lead at the 5:43 mark of the quarter.
After another three-and-out by Delta, Figy hit Connar Penrod in stride for a 55-yard TD with 3:05 left in the quarter. The point after was missed and the Indians led 20-0.
“They played well. Put up a lot of points,” said Moore of his team’s offense. “I think we left a couple plays out there in the first half. A fumble early from Noah (Tester). A interception, two guys running in the same area wasn’t what we wanted to have happen there.”
The play Moore was referring to came on the Indians’ first drive of the second quarter when on second-and-3 at the Panther 37-yard line, Figy threw into coverage and was picked off by DJ Davis at the five.
The Panthers were able to get their running game going on the ensuing possession as sophomore Josh Tresnan-Reighard gained 39 yards on nine carries. However, the drive would stall at their own 44.
Wauseon’s Thomas Leahy closed the first-half scoring with a three yard TD run at the 2:06 mark of the second quarter, extending their lead over the Panthers to 27-0.
The Indians scored thrice in the second half as Figy hit Penrod and Noah Tester for scores, plus backup quarterback Brady Thomas connected with Riley Sluder for a 14-yard score with 11:40 remaining.
Delta would not be shutout, tallying a pair of fourth quarter scores. Second string quarterback James Ruple found Bryan Knapp for a 17-yard pass and catch for the first TD, then Jaydin Salyers ran one in from 17 yards away with 2:35 left. Braden Risner converted the extra points.
Figy completed 14 of 21 passes for 224 yards and four TDs to one interception. Penrod caught five passes for 92 yards and two scores, while Jonas Tester made five catches for 81 yards.
The Panthers were led by Tresnan-Reighard who marked 56 yards on 13 carries. Salyers added 40 yards on five carries.
Wauseon, now 8-1 on the season and 5-1 in league play, hosts Archbold this week with the winner getting a share of the NWOAL crown.
“We wanted to take care of business tonight and we were ready to go for that one. So now we got a big game coming up here next week. Again, a lot of people didn’t have us picked to be in this situation. Our guys worked hard all summer and all season long so far. We got a shot to have a meaningful week 10 game. It couldn’t come with a better opponent than Archbold. It’s gonna be a heck of a battle out there for both teams,” said Moore.
Delta is at Patrick Henry (6-3) to close the season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010