Ceredo-Kenova beats Wayne to win county championship
SPRING VALLEY -- When two teams are evenly matched, the team that makes the most of its opportunities generally comes out the victor.
Such was the case as Ceredo-Kenova claimed the Wayne County Middle School football championship Thursday with a 24-6 victory over Wayne at Spring Valley High School.
The Wonders held after Wayne had first and goal inside the five yard line on the opening possession of the game, survived two near interceptions, and scored on each of its first three trips into the redzone.
C-K's victory came one week after Wayne won the regular season contest.
"We made some defensive adjustments from last week," C-K coach Chancey Roy. "We practiced hard, had a long week of practice. I told the guys there's nobody that can play with them when they play solid football."
The Wonders (7-2) did just that playing on a soggy Wolves' Den field with no turnovers.
Wayne (7-2) wasn't without opportunities. The Pioneers' first two plays went for loss, but Josh Mitts broke a 57-yarder to the 5-yard line. The Pioneers next four plays lost 22 yards.
C-K dented the scoreboard with 3:08 left in the second quarter when Skyler Ratcliff burst through the middle for a 17-yard score and an 8-0 lead.
The touchdown followed a short drive after a Wayne fumble. The Pioneers just missed a big play in that series, when an open receiver broke free behind the C-K secondary but was just overthrown.
"Our kids played hard the whole game, we just made some mistakes. For the most part we had them in the right place at the right time," Wayne coach Ted Williamson said. "We had a call where if we had completed it, we would have probably scored."
C-K, which included Buffalo Middle School players since the Bisons did not have a team this year, recovered an onside kick and cashed in, scoring a second touchdown with under 10 seconds left in the first half. Alex Roy hit Jacob Hendricks with a 10-yard scoring strike in the front right corner of the end zone for a 16-0 lead. That came after Wayne defenders had both hands on two throws earlier in the possession.
The Wonders converted a fourth-and-11 on the drive when Roy connected with Kurtlen Brown for 13-yards crossing beneath the coverage.
"It was big. We watched them on a pass coverage and saw they usually played a zone," Roy said. "We changed our route, ran Kurtlen underneath and got the first down."
Roy scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak after a strong second push from his teammates with 2:46 to play in the third quarter.
The Pioneers ran just three plays from scrimmage from the beginning of the second period until that Roy touchdown plunge.
"Defense really was key. Offense was good, line did a lot better, maintained blocks," Chancey Roy said after the Wonders ran 47 plays compared to just 22 for Wayne.
"I have to hand it to them, they had a good team. They drew from a large, large pool of kids from Buffalo and C-K, and then they had some transfers come in and helped them out," Williamson said. "We had 13 seventh graders this year. They had 30 eighth graders. That doesn't happen at a place like C-K unless they have some help."
It was C-K's first county championship since 2005, when a team that included Vinson Middle School players won the title.
"We lost another game, but this is not the first time we've lost to a consolidated school in the Wayne County championship game," Williamson said.
"I was proud of these guys. They came together with us not having a field this year, Buffalo not having a team," Roy said. "At first you figure there's going to be a lot of butting heads. They're a group of good guys."
C-K 0 16 8 0 -- 24
WAYNE 0 0 6 0 -- 6
CK-Ratcliff 17 run (Hendricks pass from Roy)
CK-Hendricks 10 pass from Roy (Ratcliff run)
CK-Roy 2 run (Frye run)
W-Sebastian 1 run (pass failed)
RUSHING-C-K: Ratcliff 19-90, Frye 13-60, Brown 6-13, Hendricks 2-6, Roy 1-2, Team 1-(-14). Wayne: Mitts 2-57, Sebastian 3-11, Queen 3-8, Stiltner 6-2, Napier 3-(-1), Atkins 2-(-17).
PASSING-C-K: Roy 2-4-0, 23 yards; Brown 0-1-0. Wayne: Napier 0-2-1; Atkins 0-1-0.
RECEIVING-C-K: Brown 1-13, Hendricks 1-10.