Jude Armstrong scored four touchdowns to lead Wauseon over Napoleon in 28-13 in the non-league finale Friday at Harmon Field.
The Indians were able to break through first as both defenses had the upper hand in the opening half.
“Defensively, we were swarming to the football from the get go,” said Wauseon Coach Shawn Moore. “I thought we were able to make a lot of tough physical plays led by Austin Kovar, Logan Carroll, Zaidan Kessler, Chance Snow, and Justin Duncan.”
Wauseon was able to dent the scoreboard with the help of a Napoleon special teams miscue. A muffed punt gave the Indians the ball just 12 yards from the end zone.
On the very next play, quarterback Elijah McLeod found Armstrong for a 12-yard score. The extra point by Tyson Rodriguez gave Wauseon a 7-0 lead with 2:56 remaining in the second quarter, and that was the score going into the lockerroom at halftime.
Wauseon struck first in the second half to push their lead to 14. McLeod connected with Armstrong for another 12-yard score and after the PAT by Rodriguez, the Indians led 14-0 with 5:22 remaining in the third quarter.
A pair of Napoleon touchdowns got them right back into the game. Andrew Williams scored on a six yard run to cut the lead to 14-6.
Then, Wauseon turned it over on the kick off, giving the Wildcats good field position. They took advantage, as just over a minute after the first touchdown, Williams found the end zone from two yard out.
The two-point converstion was stopped and Wauseon held onto a 14-12 lead heading into the final quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Indians extended their lead. McLeod passed to Armstrong along the sideline and he hauled it in over a defender for a 35-yard score. The extra point put Wauseon up 21-12 with 10:20 left in the game.
Armstrong put a lid on the win with a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:30 left.
“Jude really had a solid game all around,” said Moore. “I challenged the players to step up and make some plays and Jude was able to do that tonight with some big receptions and a couple of interceptions with one being returned for a TD. Defensively, we were swarming to the football from the get go.”
Armstrong had 6 catches for 72 yards and the three touchdowns. Sam Smith added 4 catches for 41 yards.
McLeod finished 12-of-23 through the air for 150 yards.
Napoleon (0-3) actually outgained Wauseon 242-218 on the night, but turned the ball over five times to three for the Indians.
“It was a back and forth physical field position game,” said Moore. “Our defense was able to create some turnovers and eventually we were able to convert those into points.”
Wauseon will open league play Friday when they host Liberty Center.