By Brett Barnes
31-7 Win Keeps Waynesville in the Playoff Hunt
If you had told Coach Mark Lane and the Bulldog coaching staff before the game that his defense would cause four turnovers against the Waynesville Spartans Friday night, I am sure that he would have smiled and liked the prospects of M-U staying in the football game. It didn’t turn out that way. Waynesville just had too many opportunities. Good teams take advantage, and that is what the Spartans did winning the football game 31-7.
After a three and out punt by the Bulldogs on the opening possession, Waynesville struck quickly when Troy Black hit Bryce Linkous from 47 yards away, and the Spartans led 7-0 after just one possession.
The M-U offense could never really get it going at all in the opening half. In fact, they punted seven times, and only had two first downs. With Waynesville getting the ball time after time, a blowout loomed. However, the Bulldog defense harassed Black and the Waynesville’ offense into numerous mistakes.
First, Black fumbled with the Bulldogs taking over deep in their territory. After three plays, M-U punted, but the punt was fumbled and recovered again by M-U’s Cole Pennington. On Waynesville’s next possession, Black threw an interception when freshman Blake Smith picked one off to stop another drive in the end zone.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, each and every turnover turned into a punt and finally the Spartans would take advantage on the last two possessions of the first half. Black hit Brian Bushnell from 40 yards away for a 14-0 lead, and then just before the half, Jeremiah Stillwell crashed in from just one yard away making the halftime score 21-0.
Total yards at the half showed the dominance of the football game with Waynesville netting 287 total yards to just 33 yards for M-U.
The second half mirrored the first although Milton had some better offense. However, two promising drives ended with a fumble and an interception. Waynesville took advantage and added a field goal making the score 24-0.
Both teams added late touchdowns. Black hit an uncovered Bushnell from 43 yards adding to the lead 31-0. London Cowan finally got the Bulldogs on the board late in the game when he hit Kodey Wolfe with a 15 yard strike to make the final score 31-7.
With the win, Waynesville kept its slim playoff hopes alive. M-U finishes the season Friday night at home. It’s senior night against Northridge. Game time is set for 7:30.