Wayne was defeated 44-21 by Pawnee Friday night in the second round of the State Playoffs.

The loss was their first since Sept. 27 when they narrowly lost to Stroud.

They had reeled off seven straight wins after losing three in a row to begin the season.

Wayne fought the injury bug early but became an imposing force this season once they hit their stride with a full roster.

“The kids could have laid down (early in the season) and quit but they showed their character and rolled off seven straight,” Said Wayne Head Coach Brandon Sharp. “Friday just didn’t go our way.”

Wayne wasn’t able to get their potent ground game rolling Friday like they have much of the season.

“Pawnee is a good team and they caused us problems with their defense,” Sharp said. “We couldn’t get going.”

The game was closer than the final score indicated and Wayne had a chance to tie or take the lead in the third quarter until a fumble killed the drive.

“We were in the game,” Sharp said.

Despite the off game for the Bulldog’s offense, sophomore sensation quarterback Ethan Mullins still ran for 220 yards on 29 carries. He scored two touchdowns on the ground and threw another touchdown to fellow sophomore Kolton Miller in the first quarter of the game.

Mullins finished the season with 2,849 yards rushing on 349 carries.

He scored 38 touchdowns.

Pawnee was the more physical team Friday night and used their offensive line to control the game.

“They got in double tight (formation) and were just like a road grader with their splits foot to foot,” Sharp said. “Their offense is really difficult to defend and they have good running backs and we struggled to get them to the ground.”

Pawnee finished the night with 378 total yards to Wayne’s 294.

Brannon Lewelling recorded a team-high 17 tackles in the game, followed by Connor Crawford with 11.

James Spencer registered eight tackles and Rhett Kennedy had seven stops.

“It was a good season but we didn’t achieve everything we wanted,” Sharp said. “I’m really proud of the boys and their toughness this year. We had guys banged up all season. They showed resolve and their attitudes were good. It’s a great group of kids.”

Wayne finished the season 7-4.

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