The Wayne administration received a phone call from officials at Walters High School Tuesday informing Wayne that Friday’s game would have to be called off.
A COVID-19 situation was happening in Walters and they have multiple students and players in quarantine.
Wayne will spend the next couple of weeks getting players healthy.
“We hope to have a few guys back,” said Wayne Head Coach Brandon Sharp.
They’ll need all the additional bodies they can get after only playing 13 bodies at Apache Friday night during their 20-13 loss.
“I’m not making excuses,” Sharp said. “They battled and it showed their character. They never came off the field and we had a chance to win the game.”
Wayne got off to a slow start in the first half and Sharp was unhappy with his team’s blocking.
“In the first half they were more physical than us,” he said. “We didn’t play very well but in the second half we played better, but not great up front.”
Wayne started off in a 12-0 hole entering the second half and didn’t find the scoreboard until the third quarter when Ethan Mullins scored from 14 yards out. The point-after try was missed.
Mullins finished the night with 97 yards rushing with one score with his legs.
Brannon Lewelling added another 92 yards on the ground on 13 carries.
“Lewelling was the work horse late,” Sharp said. “He was running hard with his pad level down and punishing kids when they tried to tackle him.”
Apache scored in the final quarter on a one-yard plunge to get back to a two-score lead.
Then Wayne struck again, this time in the fourth quarter, when Mullins found Kevin Bynum on a 39-yard pass. Brian Ibarra’s point-after attempt was true and Wayne trailed 20-13 in the fourth quarter.
Wayne fought and got the ball back late in the game.
“We had the ball with a chance to score and lead or tie it up,” Sharp said.
But a bobbled snap along with a holding penalty dashed any hopes of mounting a comeback.
“Apache is a great team and we still had a chance to win,” Sharp said. “Our kids battled and gave great effort. We could be good this season but have a long way to go.”
Wayne was hurt defensively by Apache’s deep air attack.
“They hit us on some big passes on third down and had a deep ball on us for a touchdown,” Sharp said.
Lewelling carried the Bulldogs on defense with 15 tackles and one sack.
Mullins and Maddox Mantooth each registered seven tackles and Andy Lee had three tackles and a sack.
Sharp thinks a lot of what his team did wrong Friday is correctable.
“We just have to get back to blocking, and not just up front but on the edge with the receivers too,” he said. “We have to sustain blocks and do your job.”
Getting a little more experience as the year goes on should help with that as Lee is the only lineman who returns with any experience.
“I was proud of the kids for how they battled and didn’t quit,” Sharp said. “They battled.”
Brandon Sharp nominated Brannon Lewelling for Heart of Oklahoma Defensive Player of the Week. He had 15 tackles and one sack Friday night.
Wayne hosts Lexington September 11.