Wapakoneta’s defense delivered a dominating performance against Shawnee, especially in the second half, to beat Shawnee 15-0, and oust the Indians from the postseason in the first round of Division III playoffs Friday night.
With the win Wapakoneta improves to 3-4 on the season and travels to Hamilton Baden for the second round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday. This is the third straight win for the Redskins. For Shawnee, it marked its third straight loss and it falls to 3-4 on the season.
Wapakoneta head coach Travis Moyer gave credit to his defensive staff for formulating a great game plan and the players executing it.
“We have always said if we are going to be successful and win championships we have to play well defensively,” Moyer said. “We did that tonight. They were a tough offense in terms of defending the run and the pass and I just thought our guys played really well especially in the second half.”
When Wapakoneta and Shawnee squared off in the regular season, it was the Indians’ defense that came up big to secure the 9-7 victory but this time it was the Redskins’ defense that took center stage.
In the game, the Redskins did not allow the Indians in the red zone the entire game. In the final 24 minutes, Wapakoneta limited the Indians to 1 yard on 13 plays and Shawnee never got past their own 28 yard line.
The Indians went three and out on all of four of their possessions.
The icing on the cake for the Redskins’ defense came late in the fourth quarter when they recovered a muffed punt to pretty much put the game away and then recorded a safety with a little more than a minute left in the game when Shawnee was whistled for intentional grounding while trying to pass out of the end zone.
“We had some first downs in the first half and moved it the ball a little bit and our sophomore punter was punting the ball really well in helping us keep field position but every time we got a first down a penalty or a busted assignment and they would get a stop,” Shawnee head coach Jerry Cooper said. “Give them credit they made the big play of the game…It was not our best effort and give Wapakoneta credit.”
Wapakoneta has recorded back-to-back shutouts. Last week, the Redskins defeated Defiance 28-0.
Offensively, the Redskins, who were held in check by the Indians in the first half, finally got rolling in the second half to score two touchdowns and it was sparked by quarterback Braedon Goulet.
The Redskin junior signal caller, who finished the game with 150 yards and one on 23 carries, did not play in the first match up between these two teams but he proved to be the difference maker.
It was a big play by Goulet on the Redskins’ first possession of the second half that helped Wapakoneta to its first touchdown.
On the third play drive and the Redskins at their own 24 yard line, Goulet ripped off a 60 yard jaunt as he shed Shawnee defenders along the way to put the ball at the Indians’ 5-yard line. Two plays later Connor Meckstroth bulled his way in from two yards out for paydirt. After the successful extra point, Wapakoneta led 7-0 with 7:50 left in the third quarter.
Goulet did the honors on the Redskins’ second score when he capped off a quick six play 35 yard drive after he maneuvered his way through the Indians’ defense to record the touchdown. A blocked extra point made it 13-0 with 9:58 left in the game.
“Obviously up front I thought we did a good job of controlling the line up scrimmage up front in the second half and I really think that was really important,” Moyer said. “You have got to be able to win the line of scrimmage to move the ball.”
Moyer added that only three players that have started the same position all seven games all year and this team has been handling adversity all year and tonight was no exception.
“I think the attitude is we don’t flinch,” Moyer said. “We have faced so much adversity this entire season that we don’t even flinch anymore and the guys that show up on Friday night compete at a high level and play hard and our effort has never been in question all year.”
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