LIMA — Wapakoneta defeated conference co-leader Shawnee 21-7 on Friday night to take back control of its own destiny in the Western Buckeye League race.
The Redskins also received a little help from their friends after St. Marys Memorial upset Division IV No. 1-ranked Van Wert 21-14 and Ottawa-Glandorf blanked Bath 35-0 to create a four-way tie for first place atop the WBL standings at the halfway point of the season.
“We knew that we had a huge challenge in front of us,” WHS coach Travis Moyer said. “When I met with the players last Saturday, we talked about taking care of own business. Obviously, we did that tonight and, fortunately for us, we got the help that we needed, as well. We control our own destiny again and that is exciting for our program.”
Shawnee (4-1, 3-1), Van Wert (4-1, 3-1), Wapakoneta (3-2, 3-1) and Ottawa-Glandorf (3-2, 3-1) are the WBL leaders though Week 5 of the 2021 regular season. Bath (3-2, 2-2), Elida (3-2, 2-2) and Memorial 3-2, 2-2) are all deadlocked for fifth place — one game behind the leaders — after Elida knocked off Bath 42-21 on Friday.
“This wasn’t pretty game at all times, but I thought we played pretty consistently throughout it in all three phases of the game,” Moyer said. “That is what we need to do to be successful.”
After the Redskins and Indians fought to a 7-7 tie at halftime, Wapokeneta’s defense made a stand that shifted the momentum in the game. Shawnee marched its first position of the third quarter from its own 42-yard line to the WHS 15, where on fourth-and-inches Myles Aldrich fumbled, fell on the ball to recover it, but was tackled by Redskins linebacker Connor Meckstroth for a four-yard loss.
Three plays later, running back Jace Mullen gave Wapakoneta another big play — a 71-yard touchdown run at the 3:59 mark in the third quarter. Nikane Ambos kicked the extra point to give the Redskins a 14-7 lead, which was their first advantage of the game.
Wapakoneta recovered a Shawnee fumble by quarterback Tyler Windau on the Indians’ next possession with 11:34 remaining that eventually placed the Redskins deep in their own territory. When a penalty and a sack of WHS quarterback Braeden Goulet put the ball at the Wapakoneta 5, Mullen ran though traffic on third-and-28 while burning the Indians’ defense with a 95-yard race he won to the end zone.
Ambos added the extra-point kick with 9:17 remaining as Wapakoneta took a 21-7 lead.
“It’s amazing to run for that many yards, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of our offensive line,” Mullen said. “Everywhere I went, I was seeing light because that’s how big the holes were. That also included the receivers helping me with their blocking on the outsides. It was a team effort.”
Moyer was impressed with Mullen’s effort.
“Credit Jace Mullen because he’s a senior who really put us on his back tonight,” Moyer said of Mullen. “He made some huge plays for us. Mullen helped us to take a two-score lead before our defense came in late and closed it out.”
Mullen, who led all rushers with 198 yards and three TDs on 14 carries, wasn’t quite done.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the second quarter.
The Indians used a 13-play, 53-yard drive that was capped by Windau’s one-yard touchdown run with 8:09 left in the first half to take a 7-0 lead on Tyler Kimmer’s PAT kick.
The Redskins responded immediately with a nine-play, 63-yard possession that Mullen ended with a five-yard touchdown run and a PAT kick from Ambos tieed the game at 7 with 4:30 left before halftime.
The WHS defense limited Shawnee running back Jordan Banks to 41 yards on seven carries. Windau completed 9 of 19 passes for 90 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Goulet finished his night passing 8 of 13 for 90 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He added 24 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Kaleb Walter caught five passes from Goulet for 45 yards and Kaden Siefring added three receptions for 45 yards.
WAPAKONETA 21, SHAWNEE 7
S—Tyler Windau 1 run (Tyler Kimmer kick), 8:09.
W—Jace Mullen 5 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 4:30.
W—Jace Mullen 71 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 3:59.
W—Jace Mullen 95 run (Nikane Ambos kick), 9:17.
|Total Net Yards||328||260|
|Time of Possession||21:45||26:15|
RUSHING—Wapakoneta (Jace Mullen 114-198, Braeden Goulet 12-35, Connor Meckstroth, TEAM 1-0); Shawnee (Jordan Banks 7-41, Tyler Windau 16-36, Myles Aldrich 6-25, Luke Cowan 5-16).
PASSING—Wapakoneta (Braeden Goulet 8-13-0-90); Shawnee (Tyler Windau 14-29-0-142, Chase Berry 0-1-0-0).
RECEIVING—Wapakoneta (Kaden Siefring 3-45, Kaleb Walter 5-45); Shawnee (Keaton Cooper 6-80, Chase Berry 6-50, Myles Aldrich 1-7, Luke Cowan 1-5).
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.