Colby Speice fires a pass for Wayne Trace in their 43-7 victory over Hicksville on Friday night. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
HAVILAND - Wayne Trace scored 36 first half points and the Raiders cruised from there to a 43-7 win over Hicksville on Parent's night at Raider Field Friday evening.
The win sets up the showdown that has been the talk of the Green Meadows Conference with the Raiders (7-0, 4-0 GMC) visiting Tinora (6-1, 4-0) in week eight of the high school football season.
The red-white-and-blue came out and took care of business last night, scoring 57 seconds into the contest on a 57-yard pass from Colby Speice to Jake Arend. The duo again hooked up on the two-point conversion for an 8-0 Raider advantage.
Wayne Trace pushed the advantage to 14-0 at the 2:47 mark. Speice found Korbin Showalter for a 37-yard scoring strike to widen the Raider lead.
While the Raiders were putting up points offensively, it was Wayne Trace's defense that kept the visiting Aces off of the scoreboard.
Hicksville totaled only 14 yards of offense in the first half, all of which came on 21 rushing attempts, as the red-white-and-blue defense put up a shutout through two quarters.
"We played really well for a half," commented Wayne Trace coach Bill Speller. "Defensively, we were able to put pressure on them and we kept them from putting any type of a drive together."
Wayne Trace added three more scores in the second stanza.
Speice and Showalter again hooked up early in the quarter for a 23-yard touchdown pass that pushed the margin to 22-0 at the 9:26 mark.The Raiders widened the margin to 30-0 with 4:08 left in the half as Jacob Dingus took an Aces punt and returned it 45 yards for a score.
Late in the half, the Raiders concluded the first half scoring as Speice found Jake Gerber for a 19-yard touchdown toss to set the score at 36-0 at the intermission.
"I thought we came out very focused and ready to play at the start of the game," noted Speller. "The second half was a different story. We were flat, we didn't play with intensity and we have to get that fixed."
Hicksville took their opening second possession of the second half and marched 43-yards in three plays to get on the scoreboard. Kaleb Johns scampered 32 yards to put the visiting Aces in the scoring column and Logen Neidhardt added the extra point to make it 36-7.
From that point on, neither team provided much offense until Dingus intercepted a Jonny Giesige pass to give Wayne Trace possession at the Hicksville 13-yard line.
On the Raiders' first play of the possession, Daron Showalter scooted 13-yards for a touchdown to make it 42-7. Nick Glass added the extra point kick, setting the final margin of 43-7.
Dingus and Jared Sherry also had interceptions for the Raiders, with Jayden Sherry recovering a Hicksville fumble.
"We have to be a lot better next Friday and we will be," concluded Speller. "Turnovers have been a problem and it's something we have to be much improved at starting tomorrow. We've got things that we need to improve on."