Huber Heights Wayne scored three second-half touchdowns as the Warriors defeated Colerain 28-21 on a rainy Saturday night in a Ohio Division I state semifinal.
No. 14 Wayne (14-0) plays defending state champion and No. 9 St. Edward (13-1) in the Division I state final on Dec. 5 at Ohio Stadium.
Colerain (12-2) certainly made it interesting late in the fourth quarter. Senior quarterback Deshaunte Jones scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to help close the gap to 28-14 with 3:38 left.
Junior Amir Riep took a pass from Jones and ran 68 yards for a touchdown to help make it 28-21 with 1:03 left.
Colerain attempted the onside kick but the Cardinals touched the ball before it went 10 yards. Wayne took over with under a minute left.
With Wayne leading 14-7 early in the fourth quarter, senior Daryl McCleskey returned an interception 33 yards at the 9:18 mark. The next play, Wayne senior quarterback Messiah DeWeaver found junior Matt Wilcox for a 26-yard touchdown pass connection to help make it 21-7 with 8:27 left.
Wayne went ahead 14-7 at the 8:52 mark of the third quarter when McCleskey scored on a 10-yard touchdown carry.
The Warriors set up that scoring opportunity after a low punt snap by Colerain and a block gave Wayne the ball at the Colerain 10.
The game was tied at 7 at halftime. Colerain had just 148 yards of offense in the first half while Wayne had 81 yards of offense. The Cardinals fumbled three times in the first half and lost two of those.
Both defenses shined early in the first quarter. There was 89 yards of total offense from both teams in the first quarter.
Colerain tied the game at 7 when Jones found sophomore Gunnar Leyendecker for a 12-yard touchdown pass connection at the 1:10 mark of the second quarter. Senior Christian Dinevski added the extra point.
The Warriors converted on Colerain’s errant punt snap in the second quarter when junior running back Fred Pitts scored on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal to help give the Warriors a 7-0 lead at the 3:03 mark.
Pitts scored his second touchdown with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter to help give the Warriors a 28-7.
Jones completed an excellent career at Colerain. He rushed for 1,786 yards and 28 touchdowns entering Saturday. Jones, the Associated Press Southwest District Division I offensive player of the year, had thrown for 639 yards and seven touchdowns entering Saturday.
Colerain is No. 6 nationally in the USA Today Computer Rankings. Wayne is No. 5.