Waynesboro advances to District 3-5A quarterfinals
Waynesboro’s Garrett Blount comes down with the catch on his way to a 43-yard gain in the second quarter. LEE GOOWIN
WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Indians made football history on Friday night at Buchanan Automotive Stadium.
Waynesboro overcame an early 14-0 deficit to Daniel Boone and steamrolled to a 42-20 victory in the first round of the PIAA District 3-5A playoffs. The Tribe (9-2) travels to York County next Friday for a rematch with Spring Grove (9-1) in a quarterfinal game.
The Rockets edged the Indians, 25-20 on Aug. 28 in the regular season opener in Waynesboro.
It was Waynesboro’s first postseason win in five tries.
Senior running back Aidan Mencia used his battering-ram style to chew up 198 yards on 17 carries. His 45-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter put the Indians on the scoreboard; and a Jesse Julius 3-yard TD followed by a Louie Lindsay-to-Julius 2-point conversion pass tied the game at 14 with 6:52 to play in the second quarter.
Lindsay connected with tight end Garrett Blount on a 43-yard pass play to set up Julius’s score.
Before Waynesboro finally got its offensive legs churning, it was Daniel Boone’s AJ Hofer who spearheaded the Blazers offensive attack. He carried the ball six times for 46 yards on the game’s opening possession, including a 13-yard TD run with 7:37 remaining in the first quarter.
Hofer’s number was called a lot. He ran the ball 31 times for 186 yards.
Meanwhile, the Indians punted on their first two offensive series. The Blazers hit paydirt following the second punt, as Hofer touched the all on four of six plays during a 48-yard scoring drive. Hofer crossed the endzone on a 5-yard run for a 14-0 lead after Nate Millard’s second extra point with 30.3 seconds left to play in the opening quarter.
Waynesboro head coach Josh Sprenkle said he never felt apprehensive about his team’s slow start. Turns out, he had no reason to be worried.
The Tribe scored 30 unanswered points in the second and third quarters. Lindsay and Blount got acquainted again in the third period, this time on a scoring play covering 21 yards less than two minutes into the quarter. The two-point conversion was no good, giving the Indians a 20-14 lead.
Lindsay booted a 28-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game. Then, defensive back Rhyan Day picked off a Dean Rotter pass and returned it untouched into the end zone for a 30-14 lead following Lindsay’s point-after-touchdown.
Daniel Boone got back into the game when Hofer scored from four yards out. But the two-point conversion failed, and instead of the Blazers trailing by eight points and a one-possession game, it was 30-20 and the momentum stymied.
Blount dove on the onside kick at the Daniel Boone 42, and the Indians made short work of the short field. Mencia capped the drive with a 9-yard rushing touchdown and a 36-20 lead.
The Blazers fumbled the ball over to Waynesboro on the second play of their ensuing possession. And the Indians were more than happy to convert the turnover into points. Julius punctuated a five-play, 36-yard drive highlighted by a 17 yard dash by Mencia with a 3-yard scoring run to end the scoring.