In another classic battle, Centerville and Wayne gave their fans fears, cheers and heartbreak during THE GAME 2003. In many ways this years game was like so many from years long ago. The Centerville Elks who ran the triple option at the heart of many Warrior defenses and the Wayne Warriors with their pass happy shot-gun attack.
No! Bob Gregg and Mike Schneider were not back on the sidelines for this battle. Coach Ullery had the Elks playing old school Centerville Football. While Coach Jay Minton found a friend in the Warriors passing game in front of over 8,000 people in Huber Heights.
From the start, Coach Ullery had his team prepared and ready to attack the Warriors defense with its triple option attack. The Elks found the magic of past quarterbacks in Brent Middleton, the 5'11 Junior keep his team focused and running up and down the field for most of the night. Junior running back Tommy Tamaska (5'11 - 190lbs.) was the main ball carrier for the Elks with 172 yards on 18 carriers. Eric Larrimer and the rest of the O-line fired off the line all night and opend up lanes for the backs to rack up over 300 yards rushing on the night.
The Warriors tried to get star running back Thomas Mouser into the game on several runs but found little room on most carries. Marcus Freeman became the Warriors feature offensive player on the night. With a 14 yard touchdown run in the first half, Freeman made the score 7-6 Elks. When Drew Eby put the extra point up and tied the score 7-7 the crowd knew it was in for a battle of two great teams.
Toward the end of the second quarter, the Warriors punted the ball back to the Elks. With time running out on the quarter, Tommy Tamaska took a handoff and refused to allow any tackler to bring him down. From this great effort the Elks went ahead of the Warriors 14 - 7. Wayne let the clock run out and headed to the locker room to regroup and find ways to defeat the Elks.
As the teams returned to the field you could sense the excitement was just getting started. The Warriors looking for a spark replaced starting quarterback Matt Whited with back up Alex Early. In a move similar to the Xenia game Early went to work moving the Warrior attack with passes instead of runs. The Elks found problems in containing the Warrior passing game and when Early hit Freeman with a great 9 yard touchdown pass the game returned to a tie at 14 - 14.
As the game went back and forth, both teams found the others defense up to the task of shutting the other down. With the crowd feeling a tie and overtime coming on, the Elks offense found holes and moved the ball down the field. With 1:16 left in the game, the Elks had the ball with a 4th and goal. Elks head coach Ron Ullery had a choice to make, kick the field goal and take a three point lead, or risk running the ball and giving the Warriors the ball on the one with one minute left in the game. Coach Ullery didn't even give the kick a thought and sent his offense onto the field looking to end a three year drought to the Warriros. On the play Middletown handed off to Tamaska who bulled his way into the end zone for the go ahead score. On the extra point Brady Powell's kick was tipped and spun left missing a chance to give the Elks a seven point lead.
On the kickoff the Warriors offense went to work, Early showed great poise in leading the offense down the field. On the night Early would complete 14 of 17 passes for 156 yards with the biggest coming on a three yard slant to Greg Orton with 16 seconds left in the game. The score pulled the Warriors even with the Elks and the crowd knew an Eby kick would break the hearts of the Elks. All three phases of the kick were perfect, the snap, hold and kick gave the Warriors a 21 - 20 advantage and with 12 seconds on the clock the Elks attempts to pass the ball were stopped and the Warrior ran onto the field knowing a worst a share of the GWOC East crown was in hand and their playoff hopes still alive.
While the Elks head back to Centerville with a loss, they should know they are the best team I have seen play the Warriors this year. Coach Ullery and his staff had their team prepared and ready to hang a L on the Warriors.
Coach Minton and his staff now prepare to finish the season on the road at Kettering Fairmont next Friday night. A victory give the Warriors an outright GWOC East title and a spot in the 2003 playoffs. The only question would be if the Warriors would have enough points to host a game in the first round.
You can listen to the rebroadcast of the Elks and Warriors only on OhioPrepScene.com. Click on the game link to hear OPS archived broadcast.
The week we have a new sponsor of Warrior Football. Please welcome Steve Grome from Dale's Goodyear as our new sponsor. Dale's Goodyear is located at 2 East National Rd. in Vandalia.
Warrior Football Sponsors 2003
2 East National Rd.
937 - 898 - 5292
WAYNE ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB
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Wayne QB Matt Whited getting ready for Centerville
DE David Day during pregame
Cheerleading Advisor Mr. Ireland getting talking about her girls
Josh Thomas was ball boy for the big game against the Elks
Former Wayne QB A.J. Lash talks about college life during halftime of broadcast
The center piece of the Warriors field. Great work by the grounds crew as always
The Elks take the field to get ready for a big battle against the Warriors
The Warriors D-line getting ready
RB Thomas Mouser getting some touch up before the game
The cheerleaders stand ready
The Warrior side is full for the big game
The students are ready to cheer the Warriors over the Elks
I thought Trick or Treat was still a couple of weeks away
The Elks take a knee after a hard fought loss to the Warriors
WR Greg Orton talks after the big win over the Elks
LB/FB Marcus Freeman talks with OPS after the Warriors big win
Warrior Head Coach Jay Minton talks about the victory with OPS
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