MARION - Visiting Waynesfield-Goshen scored 35 unanswered first-half points to power its way to a 56-28 shootout win at Marion Elgin in Northwest Central Conference football action Friday night.
W-G improved to 4-1 and 1-1 in the NWCC with the big victory, while Elgin fell to 1-4 (1-1 NWCC) after the defeat.
Elgin took the opening kickoff and drove in to score a touchdown, seizing an early 6-0 lead. Yet W-G responded to take a 14-6 after the first period, then poured it on with 28 second-period points.
"Elgin scored on the opening drive, but then our defense settled down," said Tiger head coach Shane Wireman. "We knew we would have to score after they put up 68 points vs. Perry last week."
After surrendering he opening TD drive, the Tigers roared back with five consecutive touchdowns to take command of the contest.
When the smoke cleared, W-G held a 35-6 lead. "We did a nice job of answering their first TD," said Wireman. "We came back and scored, then stopped them a few times."
Elgin stemmed the run late in the first half by hitting on a big touchdown run and a two-point conversion, pulling within 35-14.
But Tiger back Blake Barnes then scampered 68 yards to paydirt, putting the visitors back in charge just before intermission, 42-14.
"That touchdown swung the momentum back to us," Wireman noted.
"Blake had a nice bounce-back game from last week vs. USV. He did the most damage for us."
The teams played to a 14-14 tie in the second half. "Give Elgin credit, they didn't quit," Wireman offered. "They gave us all we could handle for a while."
Barnes scored on runs of 68, 25 and two yards. He also snared a 45-yard TD pass from Cooper Roberts.
Barnes netted 171 yards rushing on 13 carries, and added 66 receiving yards on three catches for 237 yards of total offense.
Accurate senior Tiger quarterback Roberts completed 10 of 11 passes for 272 yards with three TD aerials.
"Cooper also bounced back nicely from last week," Wireman noted. "We had a pretty good offensive night. We don't normally like to get into a shootout, but we had to."
Jayden Elliott hauled in six receptions for 141 yards, highlighted by a 75-yard TD catch. He made some defenders miss on the long scoring catch-and-carry play, which began with a short pass. Elliott also grabbed a 12-yard TD pass from Roberts.
Aiden Biederman amassed 90 yards on five carries, paced by a 65-yard scoring jaunt. Hunter Craig netted 35 yards rushing on six carries with a 20-yard TD run.
Waynesfield (1-1 home) hosts Ridgemont (1-3) Friday to start the second haf of the regular season. The Gophers lost 41-6 to Fayetteville-Perry Friday after having to scramble and replace a cancelled game versus Ridgedale.
Their lone win came at Vanlue in the season-opener, 56-16.
Waynesfield improved from 12th to 10th in the unofficial early Div. VII, Region 26 computer rankings with the convincing win.