Wayne travels to Mounds Friday night for a District showdown with the 4-0 Eagles.
“They’re playing pretty well and knocked off a top 10 team in Gore a couple weeks ago,” said Wayne Head Coach Brandon Sharp. “They are much improved this year.”
Mounds will spread the field on the offensive side of the ball and have a talented quarterback to distribute the ball to a savvy group of wide receivers.
“Their quarterback is really good and they have three receivers who are as talented as we’ve seen,” Sharp said. “They will sling it all over the yard and we’ll have to play well defensively.”
They operate with double receivers on either side of the field and will also show some trips looks.
Mounds runs the ball enough to keep opposing defenses honest and Sharp said his team will have to account for him as well.
Defensively the Eagles will play in a 3-4 front with a nose guard lined up over Wayne’s center and two tackles head up with Wayne’s tackles.
“We need to do a better job up front than we have been,” Sharp said. “We need to get someone else going besides Ethan Mullins and get some offensive balance.”
Wayne will try to spread out the workload and utilize Brannon Lewelling at running back as well as receivers , including Dustin Scoggins.
The Bulldogs are still trying to get back to full strength after a rash of injuries.
They welcomed back James Spencer, who makes a world of difference for the defense, after he suffered a knee injury.
Sophomore Jairo Hernandez will also return to the lineup this week.
Wayne lost to the No. 4 Stroud Tigers Friday night 14-6.
The Bulldogs gave Stroud all they wanted at Zack Powell Field.
Stroud scored on their first and final drives but Wayne severely limited their offensive production in between those two drives.
“We played better and the kids’ effort was definitely there,” Sharp said. “The defense played well and there were just a couple times we were out of position. There’s a difference having Spencer on the field and he gets people lined up.”
Mullins was the work horse for the Wayne offense and scored their lone touchdown in the first half on a gutsy run in which he ran through most of the Stroud defense. The run was 31 yards.
He finished the night with 114 yards rushing on 21 carries.
He also had a 50-yard touchdown run called back late in the second quarter on a suspect holding call from the other side of the field.
Had the play not been called back Wayne would have taken at least a 12-8 lead into the halftime locker room.
“Mullins ran the ball well,” Sharp said.
Wayne’s offense was plagued by several dropped passes, including one that was deflected leading to the game clinching interception for Stroud.
“We couldn’t complete a pass when we needed to,” Sharp said. “We’re getting no production out of our other backs and receivers and we’re not physical at the point of attack on the line. We need to use better technique.”
Brannon Lewelling was a full-grown man on the defensive side of the ball, racking up 16 tackles to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Spencer logged seven tackles and forced a fumble himself.
Mullins also had seven tackles and Ryan Redus had five.
“Stroud was as advertised and our kids never quit and battled through adversity and gave them a game,” Sharp said. “We had an opportunity to win it in the fourth quarter and that’s all you can ask for when playing a top 5 team.
“I’m proud of the guys going toe to toe with them. But I told them we don’t ever look for moral victories here. It’s still a loss and it’s still disappointing.”
Head Coach Brandon Sharp nominated Ethan Mullins for Heart of Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Week.
He nominated Brannon Lewelling for Defensive Player of the Week.
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