BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER

Times Bulletin Business Manager DEFIANCE - Stat sheets can sometimes be deceiving. However, not Friday night at Ayersville.

Wayne Trace dominated nearly every statistic and on the scoreboard as the Raiders rolled to a 34-0 victory over the Pilots in Green Meadows Conference action.

The victory assures Wayne Trace of a five-win season and gives the Raiders a chance at a winning season. Wayne Trace is 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the GMC after the victory. Ayersville drops to 1-8 in all games and 0-6 in the conference.

The red, white and blue took control of the game early on, scoring twice in the first nine minutes and never looking back.

It was by far the best effort from Wayne Trace this year.

"We played pretty well tonight," noted Raider head coach Bill Speller. "It was a total team effort and our best performance of the season."

After three false start penalties helped to stop the initial Ayersville possession, Wayne Trace took over at the Raider 27.

The local squad needed only one play to find the end zone. Sophomore running back Dylan Horner tossed a halfback pass on the first play from scrimmage to a wide open Kim Bickford for a 73-yard scoring strike. Jason Gordon converted the extra point kick for a 7-0 Raider advantage.

Wayne Trace would add to the lead on its next possession. The Raiders took over at the Pilot 13 thanks to a blocked punt and found pay dirt four plays later.

Facing a second and goal at the three, quarterback Derrick Baksa hooked up with Gordon for the touchdown pass. Again, Gordon's extra point kick split the uprights for a 14-0 Wayne Trace lead with 3:47 left in the stanza.

"We were able to get some points early," Speller continued. "I thought our line play was very solid tonight and we won the battles up front. That is a big key for us."

The Raiders added to the lead early in the second stanza. Gage Critten rumbled in from ten yards out to push the advantage to 20-0 with 8:47 left in the half.

Wayne Trace's defense also suffocated the Pilot offense. Ayersville was limited to 31 rushing yards and 36 passing yards in the first half and also held Ayersville to a pair of first downs, with one coming via penalty.

Horner scored on a 41-yard run at the 6:41 mark of the third quarter, widening the margin to 27-0.

The Raiders then capped the scoring on an eight-yard touchdown run by Horner with 2:15 left in the final stanza.

"This is a good win for us," Speller concluded. "The seniors have worked extremely hard and have been tremendous leaders. Now they have a chance to finish with a winning record and do it at home."

Horner ended the night with 169 rushing yards on 25 carries, including a pair of scores. Critten finished with four receptions for 40 yards in pacing Wayne Trace. Ayersville's Chaz Waisner had three catches for 64 yards.

Wayne Trace's defense limited the Pilots to 162 yards of total offense on the evening, with 84 coming via the rushing attack. Ayersville also had only seven first downs compared to 17 for Wayne Trace. The Raiders totaled 377 yards on the night, 234 of which came via the run.

The Raiders will wrap up the season by hosting Holgate on Friday evening. The Pilots close the year on Friday at the "Landing Strip" as Fairview visits Ayersville.