WAPAKONETA — It was a night for big-time milestones.
First, it was Wapakoneta’s 1,000th football game in school history.
But, more importantly, Wapak coach Travis Moyer notched his 200th career victory with a stifling 29-0 victory against Bellbrook in the quarterfinals of the Division III, Region 12, football playoffs Friday night.
“For tonight, it means we are one step closer to our ultimate goal, a state championship,” Wapak coach Travis Moyer said of win No. 200.
Wapak (11-1) advances to the regional semifinals against No.1-ranked Hamilton Badin (12-0) next Friday at a site to be named.
On a historic night, Redskins kicker Kyle Beach set a school record with a 51-yard field goal.
“He’s a special talent and works extremely hard at his craft,” Moyer said of Beach.
Bellbrook knocked out Wapak in the second round of the playoffs last year.
But this night belonged to Wapak’s defense and special teams.
“It was obviously an exceptional effort,” Moyer said. “We came into this game, banged-up, bruised and there were a lot of physical ailments. I’m just so proud of our program tonight.
“Our defense we leaned on all year. We knew we had to play well, defensively, and we played really well, defensively, tonight.’’
Defensively, the Redskins held Bellbrook running back Elijah Brooks to 22 carries for 69 yards.
Last week in a victory over Celina, he had 29 carries for 190 yards and five TDs.
“They have a power run game,” Moyer said. “And I thought we did a really good job getting off the field with three-and-outs.’’
Bellbrook was also limited to 57 yards passing.
Wapak linebacker Joey Truesdale helped lead the charge on defense.
“We always work for the shutout,” Truesdale said. “The shutout is our goal.
“We push ourselves to the absolute max. Our D-line and our front four are the top in the state. Those boys get it done. I can’t be more proud of our team.’’
All the linebackers got to the end quickly and jammed up the Bellbrook sweep before it could get started.
“We practice pursuit all the time,” Truesdale said.
There was also Redskins defensive back Nate Metzger, who had three of the team’s four interceptions.
And Mikey Lee blocked a punt, which bounced out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
Wapak running back Jace Knous, who dislocated his kneecap last week, started the game and had 42 yards on 16 carries. He also had a 14-yard TD.
Connor Meckstroth had 55 yards on 14 carries.
Wapak quarterback Caleb Moyer completed 8 of 12 passes for 123 yards and one TD.
And besides Beach hitting the 51-yard field goal, he also easily made a 39-yard field goal.
Most of the first half was controlled by both defenses.
But that was after Wapak scored on its third play from scrimmage.
After two runs, Wapak quarterback Moyer connected with a wide-open Grant Jolly for a 50-yard TD.
Jolly started on the right side, ran a square-out to the right, then went up the sideline, where he blew past a defender before the ball came his way.
The TD gave Wapak a 7-0 lead with 9:07 left in the first quarter.
“Our line did a great job up front and Grant Jolly made a great play and Caleb made a great throw,” Moyer said.
The Redskins made it 10-0 on a 51-yard field goal by Beach.
The record-kick broke the previous Wapak record of 50 yards set by Dan Dripps, set in 2007.
Beach’s 39-yard field goal gave Wapak a 13-0 lead with 4:41 left in the third quarter.
Lee’s punt block resulted in a safety, when the ball hopped out of the end zone to give the Redskins a 15-0 lead with 3:09 left in the third.
Knous’ 14-yard TD run gave Wapak a 22-0 lead with 2:28 to go.
Then, Jarrett Mullen finished off the scoring by picking off a pass in the left flat and returning it 70 yards for a TD to make it 29-0.
That capped off a near-perfect historic night for the Redskins.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.