When Waverly football hits the road, they don’t fool around.
The Warriors had a 300-mile round trip to West Branch for their first away game of the year, and brought home their second victory of the season, 40-12 over Ogemaw Heights on Sept. 7.
Waverly head coach Anthony Walker said that, despite the long trip, his team was aggressive from the start, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
“It was definitely a test, a three-and-a-half-hour drive for our first road game,” Walker said. “We really got after it.”
Alante Sims led the way for the Warriors, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the win, which improved Waverly’s record to 2-1.
Perhaps as an attempt to capitalize on the time the Warriors spent on the road, Ogemaw Heights opened the game with an onside kick, which they recovered and promptly converted into the game’s first touchdown, putting Waverly in a quick 7-0 hole.
“That’s the first time this season that we’ve faced that kind of adversity right off the bat,” Walker said.
But that advantage was short-lived, as Sims exploded for three straight touchdown runs, of 15, 51 and 5 yards, all in the first quarter, to give the Warriors a 20-7 lead that they would not relinquish.
Scott Koenigsknecht extended the Waverly lead with a 10-yard touchdown reception from Airic Boyce that gave the Warriors a 27-7 lead at the half.
Ogemaw Heights pulled a touchdown back early in the third quarter that made the score 27-13, but a 1-yard TD plunge by Dee Roberts in the third quarter and a 15-yard fumble return by LeJchon Marshall in the fourth stretched the lead to 40-13. The Falcons tacked on a late touchdown that did nothing but make the final score 40-21.
Delano Glosson led the Warrior defense with 14 tackles, 12 of them solo, and Jordan Hadley and Marshall each had nine tackles for the Warriors.
Walker said that Glosson is his big-play threat on defense.
“He’s been our most consistent player, period,” Walker said. “He’s the captain of the defense.”
Spoken as a true coach, Walker said that his team still has much room for improvement on both sides of the ball. He said that the defense played a little below the hgh standard they had set in the first two games, and that the offense picked them up in this one. But even after scoring 75 points in their last two games, he insists that the best is yet to come.
“We’re still very inconsistent offensively,” Walker said. “One play we’ll be blocking like we’re supposed to be blocking, perfectly, and the next play we look like the keys on a piano. But, we’re getting better.”
The Warriors will play their second road game of the season this week, but with a much shorter drive, when they head down Waverly Road to face Eaton Rapids in a CAAC Gold clash on Friday, Sept. 21. It will be the first of three straight conference away games, with trips to Charlotte and Jackson Lumen Christi to follow on Sept. 28, Oct. 5.