A hot week of practice for the Wapakoneta Redskins became even more heated in the aftermath of last Friday’s loss to Kenton. The result this time was a sound 42-0 victory Friday over the Elida Bulldogs in a Western Buckeye League varsity football contest at Harmon Field.
Wapak lost 52-16 last Friday to Kenton in its WBL opener.
“I’m just so proud of our kids this week,” Wapak varsity coach Doug Frye said. “We upped the heat in the kitchen, and the kids responded.
“We’re were a lot more intense. We’re were a lot more physical,” he said. “We played the game of football the way it was supposed to be played.”
The win evened Wapak’s league record at 1-1, while Elida fell to 0-2 in the WBL.
The Redskins improved to 2-1 overall, while the Bulldogs lost their second straight to drop to 1-2.
Frye explained what this win meant for his team moving forward.
“This was a tough assignment,” Frye said. “I have great respect for the Elida program and what Coach (Jason) Carpenter has done over there. I think this win shows the potential of our team.”
After a turnover on its first possession, Wapak scored two rushing touchdowns in each of the game’s first three quarters Friday, displaying a profound rushing attack that totaled 422 yards Friday.
Wapak junior halfback Keaton Metz gained 177 yards on 18 attempts with three touchdowns, while senior halfback Zach Schmerge added 151 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
“Our offensive line was coming off the ball with intensity,” Frye said. “As the game went on, both halfbacks got better.”
The Redskins’ defense was equally dominant, holding Elida to 177 total yards while forcing five turnovers.
Elida went 1-for-10 on third downs Friday, failing to convert on its first nine attempts.
Wapak junior defensive back Quinn Lotridge made his third interception of the season in the second half.
“Quinn had a great game,” Frye said. “He’s been picked on because he’s been struggling. Young guys like him are starting to grow up though.
“Thomas Schoenlein had a great game, too,” he said. “When you take an explosive offense like Elida and you shut them out, that’s a pretty good night.”
Schoenlein had one sack Friday.
The Redskins had a brief misstep to open the game but dominated Elida the remainder of the contest.
Wapak fumbled away its first play from scrimmage.
Elida, however, turned the ball over on downs following the fumble, setting up Wapak’s first scoring drive.
Metz broke off a 43-yard run to open the game’s scoring. Bailey Hinegardner’s first of six successful PAT kicks was good to give Wapak a 7-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game.
Elida punted before Wapak drove down the field for its second TD.
The Redskins needed 11 plays to march 80 yards, concluding the drive with a 3-yard TD run by Schmerge. They led 14-0 with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
Elida then lost fumbles on two straight plays from scrimmage on separate drives. The latter was just a one-play drive that resulted in Wapak’s third TD of the first half.
Metz had a 31-yard run for his second TD with 9:58 left before halftime, putting Wapak up 21-0.
Logan Martin notched a rushing TD at 1:59 in the second quarter following a 12-play, 75-yard drive, with Martin scoring from 12 yards out.
Wapak cruised into halftime with a 28-0 advantage.
The Redskins posted TDs on their first two drives of the second half, the first ending with a 3-yard plunge by Schmerge, the second an 8-yard run by Metz.
On the Redskins’ first two scoring drives of the second half, 16 of 17 run plays gained at least four yards.
“That’s what we want to do. That’s our style of football. We asserted that style tonight,” Frye said Friday.
“We think we’re capable of doing other things, too, offensively. We just haven’t done them yet.”
The Redskins attempted only two passes Friday.
Wapak’s second-teamers played the rest of the game starting in the fourth quarter.
Frye acknowledged the week of practice leading into Friday’s game against was intense, and the gains his team made in practice this week showed in Friday’s result.
“There was a lot of progress this week,” Frye said. “Tonight’s victory was attributed to our seniors and their leadership throughout the week. I compliment our seniors.
“I’d just love to keep building on this,” he said. “Because we put the work in, we’ve gotten to this point. We’re going to have to continue to do that. This was a carryover from the week of practice.”
The Redskins will play their first road game of the season next Friday in a WBL contest against the Bath Wildcats, who fell 49-21 to Defiance on Friday.
Elida will visit the St. Marys Roughriders, who are coming off of a 66-14 loss to Kenton.
Elida: Seanquez Frye 14-57; Desmend White 1-8; Noah Mosley 3-4; Jon Lieurance 1-3; Logan Alexander 10-(-15). Wapakoneta: Keaton Metz 18-177; Zach Schmerge 26-151; Logan Martin 9-52; Jared Cockerell 6-27; Cameron Lauck 2-13; Dylan Kuehl 1-7; Ethan Good 1-1; Kodi Morgan 2-(-1); Cort Merricle 2-(-2); Aaron Huffman 2-(-3).
Elida: Alexander 7-21 120. Wapakoneta: Morgan: 1-2 9.
Christian Moran 2-60; Clark Etzler 4-50; Baylen Stinson 1-10. Wapakoneta: Jared Smith 1-9.
Follow high school football coverage from the Wapakoneta Daily News on Twitter using the hashtag #wdnFB