Amanda Parrish/Times Bulletin
Parkway’s Dillon Long (83) attempts to catch a pass against a Wayne Trace defender during the Wayne Trace/Parkway game on Friday, Sept. 4, in Haviland.
Amanda Parrish/Times Bulletin Parkway’s Dillon Long (83) attempts to catch a pass against a Wayne Trace defender during the Wayne Trace/Parkway game on Friday, Sept. 4, in Haviland.
BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER

Times Bulletin Staff

sports@timesbulletin.com

HAVILAND - Derrick Baksa ran for two touchdowns and threw for two others to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to a 34-12 win over Parkway in non-league action Friday night at Raider Field.

Baksa finished the night 11 of 23 passing for 139 yards and added 80 yards rushing on 17 carries as the Raiders move to 2-0 on the year.

"Derrick was very good again tonight," noted Raider head coach Bill Speller after the contest. "The kid just continues to make plays for us."

Wayne Trace looked as if it was going to pull away from the Panthers early on, sprinting to a 14-0 lead just over halfway into the opening stanza.

The Raiders took the opening possession of the contest and proceeded to drive 63 yards in ten plays for the game's first points. Baksa capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Wayne Trace lead.

After Parkway went three and out on its first possession, the Raiders needed only two plays to find the end zone again.

Beginning at the Panther 38, Justin Holbrooks ran for 21 yards on first down before Baksa found Jordan Sherry on a 17-yard touchdown pass at the 5:18 mark. Jason Gordon, who set up the possession by partially blocking the Parkway punt, split the uprights on the extra point kick to put Wayne Trace on top 14-0.

"They were able to get out in front early on and it kind of put us behind the eight-ball," noted Panther head coach Ed Kuhn. "But I thought our kids did a good job of fighting back and getting ourselves back into the game."

Parkway scored at the 4:57 mark of the second stanza after a penalty-aided drive that covered 77 yards on four plays. The Panthers took advantage of a roughing the passer and a pass interference penalty to move to the Wayne Trace 49.

Sophomore quarterback Bryce Bedwell then hooked up with Dillon Long for a 49-yard touchdown pass to get the Panthers within 14-6.

Wayne Trace, though, would answer just before halftime.

The Raiders moved to the Panther six, thanks in part to a pair of pass interference penalties on Parkway. Baksa then hooked up with fullback Gage Critten for his second scoring pass of the night, putting Wayne Trace on top 21-6 with 14 seconds left in the half.

"We were able to get a big score there before halftime," Speller added. "Parkway did a good job of getting back in the game but that was huge to get a little momentum back."

After a scoreless third quarter, the Panthers got within 21-12 on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Bedwell found Long for a 21-yard scoring toss at the 11:23 mark to get Parkway within nine.

However, Baksa wasn't done and provided the clinching score two possessions later. Facing a second and four at the Raider 23, the senior quarterback broke through the Parkway defense and into the clear for a 77-yard touchdown run.

"That was a big play from him," continued the Raider mentor. "Parkway had taken all of the momentum from us and they were outplaying us a little bit. But he stepped up and made a great play and the line did a super job blocking."

"We had a lot of young kids out there tonight and we continue to go through some growing pains," Kuhn continued. "The key for us is to continue to improve and get better each week."

The Panther coach was complimentary of the efforts by Bedwell, who took over the quarterback position after an injury to senior Jared Bourelle last Friday. Bedwell completed 16 of 37 passes on the night for 223 yards.

"I thought Bryce did a good job overall," Kuhn noted. "The quarterback position is a tough one to learn, especially for a sophomore. But I thought he did a lot of positive things tonight."

"Bedwell is going to be a good one for them," Speller added. "He has a good arm and does a nice job of staying in the pocket and making plays. That was a different dimension from what we had seen out of them but he is definitely going to be a good one."

Jordan Sherry completed the scoring in the contest with a 30-yard interception return late in the fourth quarter.

The Raider defense was very good against the run, limiting Parkway to negative 37 yards rushing in the contest.

"I thought our line play was good but not as dominant as last week," commented the Raider head coach. "We can definitely be better than what we were tonight. We seemed to go into a little bit of a lull there in the second half on both sides of the ball. But, overall, the defense stepped up and made plays tonight."

Long led the Panther receivers with five catches for 105 yards, including the two touchdowns. Critten had four catches for 51 yards for Wayne Trace.

The Raiders will host Crestview Friday night while Parkway opens Midwest Athletic Conference by hosting Marion Local.