Clay Archer, Contributor
WAVERLY — With a huge conference game looming in the background Friday evening, Waverly didn’t seem to notice.
The Tigers, remaining focused, racked up 335 yards of total offense, scored every single time their offense touched the football, and pounded Lucasville Valley in a 51-7 drubbing.
Since Week 3’s loss 41-14 loss to Unioto, Waverly (6-1, 2-0 SOC II) has now outscored its opponents 167-48.
“When we’re clicking and when we’re on, we can do some damage,” Crabtree said. “[Quarterback] Haydn’ [Shanks] has a lot of weapons he can get the ball to, we have a great running game with Payton [Shoemaker] and our offensive line has done a great job keeping everybody clean and making holes. We’re pretty hard to handle when we’re on.”
Friday, being “on” was an understatement.
Just three minutes and forty-nine seconds into the action, Shoemaker capped an 11-play, 55-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown to make it 7-0. Less than three minutes later, Penn Morrison caught an 11-yard touchdown pass and, less than three minutes after that, Shoemaker scored again from two yards out to push the lead to 21-0.
Morrison added a seven-yard touchdown reception to his stat line at the 8:40 mark in the second quarter, just before Will Futhey found the end zone from 30 yards out to make it 35-0 — which was eventually, mercifully, the halftime score.
More of the same took place in the second half.
Shoemaker scored a third time with 6:26 left in the third before Grayson Diener nailed a 39-yard field goal as time expired, pushing the score to 45-0 heading into the fourth.
Valley’s Hutson Oyer finally put the Indians on the board with 5:23 remaining and Waverly’s Hunter Ward ended the night’s scoring with a 62-yard touchdown run at 1:58.
While the Tigers’ offense was magnificent, their defense was just as solid, holding Valley to just 158 total yards — 98 rushing and 60 passing.
“We’ve gotten better every week [on defense] and it’s not always been with the same personnel,” Crabtree said. “Up front tonight, we had a few guys dinged up so we had some new guys in. That’s kind of the great thing … we’re able to get some people some work and they’re out there being successful.”
Offensively, Shanks and Shoemaker had video game-ish nights … yet again … in limited action.
Shanks completed 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards and three scores while Shoemaker finished with 149 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. Morrison ended the night with 50 receiving yards while Futhey added 39 of his own to the mix.
“Those guys are special,” Crabtree said. “Haydn’, despite the hiccups he’s had with some injuries and stuff, he’s just a warrior. He’s battling through and he’s finding ways to win. Payton, he’s something else. He creates stuff. The offensive line does a good job at the first level and then Payton does the rest. He’s something else.”
With momentum behind them, the Tigers will now try and pass their toughest test yet in a trip to Wheelersburg next week. Meanwhile, Valley (4-3, 0-2 SOC II) will attempt to bounce back, hosting West.
“We’ve tried to find a way to win each week,” Crabtree said. “Now we’re trying to stack each week on top of each other. It’s more about us going out executing and not so much about who we play. That’s the kind of mentality we’re trying to take in. It’s obviously a big conference game, but our kids just have to stay focused and not get overly concerned about who we’re playing.”