Wauseon picked up where they left off in week one against Liberty Center, jumping out to an early lead Friday on the road against Swanton and then cruising to a 41-0 win over the Bulldogs. They improve to 2-0 both on the season and in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League with the victory.
“We had a good week of practice. We wanted to take the next step is what we talked about,” said Wauseon coach Shawn Moore of the win. “Just being physical, being smart. We still had some mistakes — we gotta clean that up. But, again, we came out and played a physical style of football today.”
Swanton drops to 0-2 on the young season.
“Wauseon is a very good football team,” stated Bulldog mentor Denton Saunders. “We didn’t play with the same fight and intensity as we did against PH and it showed. We need to bring a higher level of fight, focus and intensity every week no matter who we play.”
Wauseon’s speed and their receivers’ ability to run after the catch caused problems all night for the Swanton defense. In fact, their first touchdown was set up by a short pass to Jonas Tester who slipped his way for 47 yards down to the Bulldog 15-yard line.
Sophomore Jude Armstrong cashed in on the very next play with a run around the left end. The two-point conversion — a pass from Connar Penrod to Sam Smith — failed to keep the score at 6-0 with 9:07 left in the opening quarter.
A muffed punt return by the Bulldogs help set up the second Indians’ score of the night.
Then, stuck with a third-and-5 at the Swanton 46, Penrod completed a pass to Armstrong who made his way down to the 20 for a first down. Tyson Britsch ran for 14 yards on the next play, then Penrod finished off the drive with a six yard scamper into the end zone and Samuel Blanco’s point after extended the lead to 13-0 with 5:28 left in the quarter.
Wauseon would get their third TD of the half a little over a minute into the second quarter.
Despite being pushed back to a first-and-27 as a result of a penalty, Penrod connected with Tester who slipped multiple tackles, racing to paydirt for a 63-yard score to make the difference 20-0.
“We try to take advantage of the middle. It’s really hard for defenses to cover the middle all the time. Having those guys run free in the middle and Connar able to get them the ball, it’s definitely a big plus for our offense,” explained Moore on the Indians’ passing attack.
Swanton did nullify a potential fourth Wauseon score when Ethan Hensley picked off a pass in the end zone intended for Tester at the 7:16 mark of the second.
However, the Indians still ended up making it a four-score game prior to halftime. It came by way of a short dump to Armstrong who weaved his way in for six points from just two yards away, and Blanco’s extra point made it 27-0.
Armstrong caught seven passes on the night for 71 yards and that score, also adding the 15-yard rushing TD that began the scoring.
“Jude is coming on strong as a sophomore,” noted Moore. “He’s got a lot of speed and very football smart. We can move him around and do a lot of things with him. Same thing with Jonas. Those guys are pretty similar and having those two guys in the middle of our offense is really opening up space for each other.”
The Indians converted on the opening possession of the second half behind the rushing of Britsch, plus the arm and legs of Penrod. Britsch had runs of 13, seven and six yards on the drive. Penrod capped it off with five yard run for a 34-0 lead — initiating the OHSAA running clock rule.
Swanton did march down to the Wauseon 25 on the following possession, but couldn’t capitalize as Hensley had his field goal attempt blocked.
The Indians completed the scoring with 10:25 left in the game, a 13-yard run by Penrod on fourth-and-2. It was his third rushing score of the night as in total, he rushed for 53 yards on seven attempts. Penrod also completed 15 of 27 through the air for 257 yards and two touchdowns, but had a pair of interceptions.
Tester caught three passes from Penrod for 93 yards and a score. Britsch led the rushing attack with 95 yards on 17 carries.
Swanton was held to -1 rushing yards. Weigel was 20 of 33 for 165 yards passing. Cole Mitchey made four catches for 41 yards, while Lathan Pawlowicz caught five for 35 yards.
Swanton (0-2 NWOAL) next travels to Liberty Center on Friday, a team also looking for its first win.
Wauseon welcomes winless Evergreen.