LIMA — The most noticeable weakness in the Waynesfield-Goshen Tiger arsenal all season has been their pass defense.
The Ada Bulldogs exploited that weakness with a vengeance.
The Bulldog offense went to the air in the first half almost exclusively, and almost always with success. Before the first half had ended, Senior signal-caller Mason Acheson had completed 16-of-19 passes for 263 yards and carried his team to a 36-0 halftime lead. The Tigers played a more respectable second half, but the Bulldogs still escaped with an easy 50-15 win.
"We like to throw," Ada head coach Mike Fell said. "That's what this offense is designed to do."
The Tigers game plan was to slow the game down and make it a low possession game, and initially their game plan was going well. Starting from their own 30, W-G methodically drove the ball down the field and in 13 plays had drove the ball to the Bulldog 27-yard line, eating up over 7 minutes and converting three third downs and a fourth down along the way. However, the drive ended on the Bulldog 24-yard line, and Ada quickly showed their quick-strike ability.
Acheson swiftly connected on passes of 37, 15, 12 and 10 yards, the last being a scoring strike to junior Matt Wilcox in the end zone.
The game stayed at 7-0 until midway in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs again showed rapid fire scoring, running up to the big halftime lead with four more scores, including three drives of a minute or less.
Ada came out again in the second half and needed only four plays to score again, with Acheson hitting Jacob Ansley with a 38-yard score. It was the last throw Acheson would make, as he finished the game with 314 yards passing and four scores.
Ada's freshman backup quarterback Brayden Sautter came in and admirably guided the team on a seven play scoring drive, capping it off with a seven-yard tuck and run to make it 50-0.
Waynesfield avoided the shutout when Lee turner scooped up a fumble and went 88-yard for the score. James Elliott closed out the scoring with a eight-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter for the final score.
W-G head coach Gary Spencer knew his team was facing an uphill battle going into the game due to Ada's ability to throw the ball.
"It has been our weak point," Spencer said. "I think at times tended to wait until they caught the ball and then would try to make a play."
The loss marked the end of the Tigers fourth playoff trip in nine seasons. However, the team is still looking for their first postseason win in school history. The team had only one other playoff trip (1989) prior to spencer's arrival. It was also Spencer's first losing season at the helm, with the Tigers finishing 4-7 on the year.
Ada had two receivers hit the century mark, with Micah Roberson catching 5 passes for 105 yards and Jacob Ansley catching six for 137 yards. Running back Kellen Decker ran the ball for 103 yards.
For the Tigers, Gabe Hennon ran for 60 yards and Roope Metsa ran for 47 to account for 107 of the Tigers' 117 total yards in offense.