WAPAKONETA — The best defense in the Western Buckeye League couldn't stop the running of Wapakoneta's Braeden Goulet and Jace Mullen, the top two rushers in the conference, Friday night at Harmon Stadium.
Goulet ran 20 times for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Mullen added 23 rushes for 84 yards to lift the Redskins to a 30-13 WBL victory against Elida on Friday.
The Bulldogs (4-3, 3-3), who entered the contest leading the league by allowing opponents 190.7 total yards per game, surrendered 305 total yards to Wapakoneta (5-2, 5-1). Elida had given up 84.5 rushing yards per game through six weeks before the Redskins ran for 225 yards on Friday.
“The (Elida) defense was giving me everything that we prepared for this week,” Goulet said after running for touchdowns of 41, 5 and 4 yards. “It was very good prep and our offensive line blocked well. All I had to do was execute the play.”
Goulet came into Friday as the WBL leader in rushing with 71 carries for 615 yards. Mullen was second with 80 carries for 600 yards. Mullen led Goulet 9-6 in rushing touchdowns until Goulet ran for three scores Friday to tie his teammate.
Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer said his team's offense was able to move the ball against the Bulldogs, despite being flagged 10 times.
“I thought we made plays when we needed to make them, but we had way too many penalties that put us behind the chains. We can't always recover from being penalized so we have to clean that up,” Moyer said. “We hit some big pass plays that helped up continue drives, which was really important.”
Goulet finished an efficient 12 of 17 for 87 yards. Kaden Siefring (25 yards) caught four passes, while Zach Rogers (27 yards) and Kaleb Walter (17 yards) each added three receptions. Mullen (18 yards) hauled in two passes.
Elida shot ahead 7-0 three plays into the game as Larkin Henderson completed a 45-yard pass to Gunnar Kuhn over the middle to set up a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Irons. Grant Hardeman's extra-point kick put the Bulldogs up by seven points at the 10-minute mark in the first quarter.
Wapakoneta drove to the Elida 24 on its first possession, but Goulet was sacked by Mike Niebel on fourth-and-1 with 4:19 left in the first quarter. From that point, the Redskins went to work on defense, forcing Elida to punt three consecutive times and allowing the WHS offense to come alive.
“I give Elida a lot of credit for striking quickly, especially after hitting some plays over the top,” Moyer said. “We need to do a much better job of being ready for that. After that, I thought our defense settled down and played much better.”
A 15-play, 47-yard drive on Wapakoneta's second possession resulted in a 34-yard field goal from Kyle Beach with 7:18 to play in the first half. That was the start of the Redskins' 17-point second quarter.
After the Bulldogs went three-and-out, WHS took over at it's own 43 before Goulet capped a three-play drive with a 41-yard TD run with 4:56 to play before halftime. A PAT kick from Ambos made it 10-7 Wapakoneta.
The Redskins forced another punt before constructing an 11-play, 55-yard drive late in the first half that saw Goulet scoring for the second time after a 5-yard end zone run with 20 seconds show. Ambos hit her this PAT kick for a 17-7 halftime lead.
The game changed midway through the third quarter, when Henderson (3 of 8, 71 yards) fumbled away the ball and was injured on the play at the Elida 44. He did not return.
Wapakoneta took advantage of that break by moving the ball to the Bulldogs' 18-yard line, where Beach extended the Redskins' lead to 20-7 with a 35-yard field goal as 3:47 left in the third quarter.
Connor Meckstroth gave WHS another opportunity to score by recovering an Elida fumble late in the third quarter and returning it 10 yards to the Bulldogs' 9-yard line. Three plays later, Beach kicked his third field goal of the game, which covered 32 yards at the 1:18 mark.
Backup quarterback Jackson Covault (6 of 9, 61 yards) took over in the second half for Elida and guided a 13-play, 61-yard drive that ended with Kuhn's 12-yard TD catch with 7:25 remaining.
Goulet helped Wapakoneta take a 30-13 lead with 2:54 to play after completing a 4-yard touchdown run.
WAPAKONETA 30, ELIDA 13
E—Jayden Irons 25 pass from Larkin Henderson (Grant Hardeman kick), 10:00.
W—Kyle Beach 34 field goal, 7:18.
W—Braeden Goulet 41 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 4:56.
W—Braeden Goulet 5 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 0:20.
W—Kyle Beach 35 field goal, 3:47.
W—Kyle Beach 32 field goal, 1:18.
E—Gunnar Kuhn 12 pass from Jackson Covault (Jackson Covault pass failed), 7:25.
W—Braeden Goulet 4 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 2:54.
|Total Net Yards||187||312|
|Time of Possession||20:45||27:15|
RUSHING—Elida (Brady Kirk 10-29, Larkin Henderson 9-18, Jackson Covault 3-9, Mike Niebel 1-0, TEAM 1-0, Jalen Jones 1-(minus-2)); Wapakoneta (Braeden Goulet 20-136), Jace Mullen 23-84, Connor Meckstroth 2-5).
PASSING—Elida (Larkin Henderson 3-8-0-72, Jackson Covault 6-9-1-61); Wapakoneta (Braeden Goulet 12-17-0-87).
RECEIVING—Elida (Gunnar Kuhn 4-75, Jayden Irons 2-36, Keaton Hawkey 2-16, Noah Schweitzer 1-6); Wapakoneta (Zach Rogers 3-27, Kaden Siefring 4-25, Jace Mullen 2-18, Kaleb Walter 3-17).
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.
DEFENSE (TKL-SOLO-AST-SACK-TFL-INT)—Elida (Jameir Jackson 10½-8-5-1-1-0; Tori Thomas 10-7-6-½-1-0; Mike Niebel 9½-4-11-0-2-0; Gunnar Kuhn 7½-6-3-0-0-0; Jayden Irons 4-2-4-0-0-0; Jackson Covault 4-3-2-0-0-0; Tyler Carter 3½-2-3-0-0-0; Kevin McGuire 3½-2-3-½-2-0; David Etzkorn 3-1-4-0-0-0; Kahliq Wash 2-2-0-0-1-0; Aiden Long-Reed 1½-0-3-0-0-0; Johnny Hall 1-1-0-0-0-0); Wapakoneta (Mikey Lee 4½-3-3-0-2-0; Tyler Houser 4-3-2-0-2½-0; Jacob Schroeder 4-4-0-0-0-0; Connor Meckstroth 4-1-6-0-0-0; Trevor Houts 2½-1-3-1-1½-0; Joey Truesdale 2½-1-3-0-0-0; Kaden Siefring 2-1-2-0-0-0; Zach Rogers 2-1-2-0-0-0; Corbin Mitchell 1½-1-1-0-0-0; Jayden Rampulla 1½-0-3-0-0-0; Braeden Goulet 1-0-2-0-0-0; Austin Stauffer 1-0-2-0-0-1; Andrew Mosler 1-1-0-0-0-0; Jeffery Kohler 1-0-2-0-0-0-0; Will Campbell 1-0-2-0-0-0; Preston Meyer ½-0-1-0-0-0).