Kody Swords
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Austin Hannah

Hurd runs wild, Waverly doubles up Zane Trace for first win

Waverly doubles up Zane Trace to get its first win this season.

Austin Hannah, Contributor

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

KINNIKINNICK — Jase Hurd was a wrecking ball that Zane Trace’s defense had no answer for on Friday night. 

The senior back found the end zone four times behind a dominant offensive line, leading Waverly to a resounding 42-28 victory over the Pioneers. 

“It feels amazing because when you can count on your defense, and you get that breather before coming out and running … there’s no better feeling than putting up 42 points,” Hurd said. “The offensive line opened holes that semi trucks could drive through. All I had to do was make the second level miss. It couldn’t get any better.”

Waverly’s Jase Hurd scored four touchdowns in Friday’s win over Zane Trace.
CREDIT: Marissa Spradlin/SOSA

Old school football. Run it to set up the pass. That was Waverly’s M.O., and it worked like a charm all night long.

The Tigers’ defense forced a turnover on downs late in the first quarter, and the offense capitalized. Hurd had runs of 45 and 27 yards before he plunged past the goal line from one yard out, putting the Tigers ahead 7-0 after the first.

Waverly (1-1) continued to move the ball down the field, and had a little bit of luck to end the drive. Facing 4th down just outside the goal line, the Tigers fumbled, but fortunately caught a lucky bounce and Creed Smith recovered it in the end zone for the score, doubling the lead to 14-0. 

Keeping momentum on its side, Waverly forced Zane Trace (0-2)  into a three-and out, and it only took two plays to score again as Mason Kelly found Kody Swords for a 31-yard touchdown pass, pushing the lead to 21-0. 

Zane Trace needed a response, and it finally got one. 

Blake Phillips took a hand off and broke a few tackles before finding pay dirt from 25 yards out, cutting the lead to 21-7 at halftime.

“We still weren’t as perfect as we probably needed to be,” Waverly coach Chris Crabtree said. “But we did a better job of getting some stops and getting off the field on fourth down. Unfortunately, we had some penalties [defensively] that extended drives. But if we clean that up, the game would’ve maybe been a little bit different. But in the end, I felt like we did some really good things. Our kids got better this week.”

The Tigers wasted no time getting out of the gates to open the second half, and relied on its bell cow to do so. 

Hurd had runs of 15 and 41 yards before capping off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown rush, making it 28-7. 

Later, after the Pioneers’ finally forced a three-and-out, it took ZT’s offense just four plays to find the end zone. Carter Langley connected with Silas Stewart on a deep pass for a 45-yd touchdown score, cutting Waverly’s lead to 28-14 heading into the fourth. 

Zane Trace attempted to make a late rally, but the hole was already dug. The defense couldn’t stop Hurd and the damage had been done. 

The Tigers scored two more times on runs of 18 and 11 yards from Hurd while the Pioneers added touchdowns on a 42-yard run and a one-yard plunge from Langley to cap the night’s scoring.

Statistically, Langley led the Pioneers with 88 rushing yards, 136 passing yards and three total scores. Phillips added 24 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Stewart had five catches for 82 yards and a trip to the house.

Hurd’s monster night included 31 carries for 296 yards and four touchdowns, Kelly was 3-for-8 passing for 65 yards and a score, and Swords had two catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.

“We knew we had to do a better job of running the football,” Crabtree said. “That’s something we definitely emphasized and we challenged our guys up front.” Jase knew that he wanted to have a better game and I felt like he did that. He ran hard, had a good night, and up front, we took care of business.”

Waverly returns to action next week on the road at Unioto while Zane Trace aims for its first win of the season at home against North Union. 


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