SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Wapakoneta was tired of losing. By the end of the game, Shawnee was just tired.
The Redskins rolled to a 28-7 win over the Indians on Friday night at Shawnee after losing back-to-back games to start the high school football season.
Sophomore running back Evan Kaeck rushed for 195 yards on 37 carries to lead Wapakoneta (1-2, 1-1 Western Buckeye League). Shawnee (2-1, 1-1 WBL) lost for the first time this season.
“They just wore us out,” Shawnee coach Frank Crea said. “The biggest thing was their offensive line just wore out our defense.”
Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer said, “It wasn’t perfect tonight, but we gave great effort. We’ve given great effort all year long. Unfortunately, we’ve had some things just not go our way.
“Tonight I thought we fought for 48 minutes. That’s one thing we did not do the previous two weeks. We’re growing as a football team. We had a lot of adversity hit this team early on. Hopefully, this win will give us momentum that will carry on throughout the weeks.”
Early in Friday night’s game, the momentum belonged to Shawnee, when it jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of the second quarter.
A 93-yard pass from quarterback Johnny Caprella to Peyton Wilson set the Indians up at Wapakoneta’s 2-yard line, and Grant Wheeler scored on the next play at the 10:53 mark of the second quarter.
Wapakoneta, which had four turnovers in a 26-20 loss to Van Wert last week, had two in the first 13 minutes Friday night, including a fumble at Shawnee’s 6-yard line just before Caprella’s long throw to Wilson.
But after Shawnee took the lead, Wapakoneta’s offensive line and its running game took over, and the mistakes went away.
Kaeck’s 17-yard touchdown run tied the game at 7-7 with 8:51 left in the first half.
The Redskins went up 14-7 a minute and a half before halftime on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brady Erb to Rob Gerstner. Erb sprinted 27 yards for a TD and a 21-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the game, and Gerstner ran 28 yards for the final score with 4:06 to play. Tristan Gesler had the kick after all four touchdowns.
Wapakoneta’s defense harassed Caprella most of the night, including sacks for 22 yards and 16 yards by Zach Miller.
“Losing our starting left tackle for the week (because of injury) really hurt our pass protection,” Crea said. “We had trouble protecting our quarterback tonight, and if we don’t protect our quarterback, we’re in trouble.”
Moyer said, “I thought we stepped up when we needed to and made plays when we needed to. I thought our backs ran hard and our guys up front did an outstanding job.”