KETTERING — Coach Jay Minton saw the light go on in the eyes of his players on the Huber Heights Wayne High School football team late in the first half of their second-round playoff game against Dublin Coffman on Nov. 16.
The result was a touchdown drive in the final 40 seconds of the first half to give the Warriors a two-touchdown cushion as they went on to post a 31-10 win over the Shamrocks in their Division I, Region 2 matchup at Kettering Fairmont.
Coffman had cut the deficit to 14-7 with 48 seconds left in the first half when junior wide receiver Kyle Marcinick caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ben Beckett.
“After (the Shamrocks) scored, you could see the lights coming on in (my players’) eyes, and it was something to behold,” said Minton, whose team improved to 11-1 and will play Hilliard Davidson in a third-round game Nov. 23.
“They all looked at each other like, ‘We’re going to score here.’ And they went down and did just that.”
Junior Tyree Kinnel returned the kickoff 41 yards to the Wayne 46-yard line. Four plays later, junior quarterback D’Mitrik Trice hit junior wide receiver Chad Swanson for an 11-yard touchdown with 17.3 second left in the half and a 21-7 lead.
“(The Warriors) are tough to defend,” said Coffman coach Mark Crabree, whose team finished 8-4. “And we played good defense. We pressured them well, but they ran the ball effectively and we had trouble getting things going offensively.”
The Warriors turned the ball over on downs on the game’s first drive when Coffman senior linebacker Dalton Maynard sacked Trice at the Shamrocks’ 18.
But Wayne drove for touchdowns on its next two possessions. Jordan Whitfield picked off Beckett and returned it to the Coffman 20 to set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Trice to senior wide receiver Tristan Davis. When the Warriors got the ball back, freshman Matt Wilcox capped a nine-play, 61-yard drive with a 1-yard run to make it 14-0.
“I didn’t to say anything to D’Mitrik (after being sacked on the opening drive),” Minton said. “He knows what he has to do. He’s a gift from God. He’s a 4.0 (GPA) student. He’s point guard on the basketball team. He’s a great leader.”
Coffman added a 30-yard field goal from senior John McGue in the third quarter, but junior Seth Strong answered with a 25-yard field goal for the Warriors early in the fourth.
Kenny Bester, who rushed 173 yards on 19 carries, had a 2-yard touchdown run with 4:07 left to close the scoring.
Trice was 21 of 29 passing for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and Davis had 11 catches for 189 yards and one score.
For Coffman, Beckett was 8-for-14 passing for 107 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 17 yards on nine carries.
Junior running back Dre Kendrick rushed for 37 yards on 21 carries. In a 42-14 first-round victory at Centerville, he had run for 240 yards and five touchdowns.
Marcinick caught three passes for 57 yards and one touchdown, and junior wide receiver Shaun Rankin had two receptions for 11 yards.
|HUBER HEIGHTS WAYNE||14||7||0||10||31|
W -- Tristan Davis 20 pass from Trice (Seth Strong kick)
W -- Matt Wilcox 1 run (Seth Strong kick)
DC -- Marcinick 16 pass from Beckett (John McGue kick)
W -- Chad Swanson 11 pass from Trice (Seth Strong kick)
DC -- McGue 30 FG
W -- Seth Strong 25 FG
W -- Bester 2 run (Seth Strong kick)