Wayne rips Clay County, 63-24
WAYNE -- Teams across West Virginia are learning what Wayne coach Tom Harmon has known all season.
The Pioneers have far more weapons in the arsenal than just star tailback Brandon Spurlock.
Sophomore quarterback Grant Ferguson threw for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, and eight different Wayne players found the end zone Friday as the No. 1 Pioneers dispatched No. 16 Clay County, 63-24, in the opening round of the Class AA playoffs at Pioneer Field.
Wayne led 37-0 after one period and 51-6 at half.
Ferguson completed just four passes, but three went for touchdowns. Zach Cassidy scored on a 42-yard touchdown catch and Austin Pyles added one from 80 yards out after Wayne faced 3rd-and-24 from its own 20.
Spurlock also scored on a 30-yard touchdown catch. It was an aerial assault not typical of hard-nosed, grinding football that has defined the teams at all three high schools in Wayne County.
"Zach Cassidy and Austin Pyles did a nice job of shaking man-to-man coverage and getting a step," Harmon said. "Grant Ferguson did a nice job of putting the ball where it needed to be, and when it wasn't there, he did a nice job creating stuff with his feet.
"You throw in the fact that you can hand the ball to Brandon at any of those times and it makes us a little bit tougher to defend than your typical Wayne County football team."
The Pioneers (11-0) wasted no time dispatching of the over-matched Panthers. Mason Hodge scored on his only carry from 56 yards out on the second play of the game. James Egnor added a touchdown run before Zach Damron scored Wayne's seventh defensive touchdown of the season on a 29-yard interception return.
The early onslaught wasn't over, either.
Spurlock took a 30-yard screen pass for a touchdown and followed it up with a 54-yard scoring run, all in the opening quarter.
One year after scoring 50 points in the first half of an opening round playoff win over Grafton, Wayne surpassed the half-century mark for the third time this season.
Spurlock finished with 122 yards, 114 of which came in the opening quarter.
One week after an emotional 45-14 victory over Bluefield, there was no letdown for the hosts.
"That takes maturity. Our guys are not stupid," Harmon said. "They watch film and see how good teams are. None of that should have any bearing on how we play. When you set your standard to yourself and doing as good as you can possibly do, that always leaves room for improvement."
Wayne has now gone 923 minutes without trailing. Brody Lunsford and Kade Sebastian added touchdown runs in the third quarter.
James Brogan had 162 yards rushing for Clay County (5-6), whose coach refused to provide statistics prior to the game and wore small, light yellow numbers on white uniforms, making its players virtually unidentifiable.
Wayne will play host to No. 9 Nicholas County in next week's quarterfinals. The Grizzlies picked up a 31-7 win at No. 8 Ritchie County. The date and time for that game will be announced Sunday.
CLAY COUNTY 0 6 12 6 -- 24
WAYNE 37 14 12 0 -- 63
W -- Hodge 56 run (Stamper kick)
W -- Egnor 4 run (Stamper kick)
W -- Damron 29 interception return (Hodge pass from Ferguson)
W -- B. Spurlock 30 pass from Ferguson (Cassidy pass from Ferguson)
W -- B. Spurlock 54 run (Stamper kick)
W -- Cassidy 42 pass from Ferguson (Stamper kick)
W -- Pyles 80 pass from Ferguson (Stamper kick)
CC -- Brogan 57 run (kick failed)
W -- Lunsford 20 run (kneel down)
W -- Sebastian 31 run (kneel down)
CC -- Brogan 72 run (pass failed)
CC -- Naylor 48 run (pass failed)
CC -- Wiseman 4 pass from Stewart (run failed)
First Downs 10 20
Rushes-yards 41-287 39-355
Passing 5-9-1 4-9-0
Passing yards 48 160
Total offense 335 515
Fumbles-lost 5-3 6-2
Penalties 5-25 5-32
Punts 2-31.5 0-0.0
RUSHING -- CC: Brogan 10-162, Stewart 13-49, Naylor 1-48, Lucas 9-25, Schoolcraft 2-3, McClain 2-2, Lockhart 1-1, Gill 1-0, Team 2-(-3). Wayne: B. Spurlock 8-122, Hodge 1-56, Egnor 1-4, Ferguson 3-37, N. Spurlock 2-21, Queen 5-14, Lunsford 3-24, Fry 6-12, Darby 2-23, Stiltner 2-36, Sebastian 1-31, Napier 1-17.
PASSING -- CC: Stewart 5-9-1, 48 yards. Wayne: Ferguson 4-8-0, 160 yards; Perry 0-1-0.
RECEIVING -- CC: Wiseman 3-38, Burkhammer 1-9, Brogan 1-1. Wayne: Pyles 1-80, Cassidy 1-42, B. Spurlock 1-30, Egnor 1-8.