|Football: Raiders rout Ada, on to Final Four|
|Monday, November 25, 2013 5:16 PM|
Speice ties state record with 9 TDs
By KEVIN WANNEMACHER • Progress Sportswriter
LIMA – Wayne Trace used its quick strike offense and blitzed Northwest Conference champion Ada, jumping in front in the first quarter and never looking back Friday night at Lima Stadium.
The red, white and blue jumped in front 22-0 after one quarter and rolled from there as Wayne Trace cruised to a 68-14 victory over the Bulldogs in the Division VI, Region 20 championship game Nov. 22.
With the win, the Raiders continue a record breaking season that has seen them post a dozen victories for the first time in school history and clinch a berth in the OHSAA Final Four on Friday.
“I am just so proud of these kids, the coaches, the fans and the entire school community”, noted Raider head coach Bill Speller. “This team has become a family and the whole school district has really supported us. It’s amazing the way we feel right now.”
It didn’t take the Raiders long to get the red, white and blue faithful on their feet.
On Wayne Trace’s second possession, the Raiders marched 80-yards in seven plays before senior quarterback Colby Speice scampered 25-yards for a Wayne Trace touchdown.
The run provided the first of ten touchdowns that Speice was involved in, the final coming via touchdown passes that tied a state record for scoring strikes thrown in a game.
Speice hooked up with Jake Gerber on the two-point conversion pass as the Raiders went in front 8-0 at the 7:42 mark.
“Colby has had an outstanding season and tonight was just another example of that,” continued Speller. “But it is a team effort and he would be the first to say that. This group of seniors is a special group that has really supported each other and been tremendous leaders.”
Wayne Trace would strike again just over a minute later. Speice hooked up with Korbin Showalter on a 92-yard scoring strike that made it 14-0 with 6:32 remaining in the stanza. Speice found Jake Arend for the two-point conversion pass to widen the margin to 16-0.
“They made a lot of plays, and we weren’t able to keep up with their speed,” Ada coach Bob Olwin said. “Wayne Trace is just a polished group. They made plays and we didn’t.”
Wayne Trace was far from done, though.
The senior signal-caller hooked up with Tyler Showalter on a 64-yard touchdown toss as Wayne Trace pushed the lead to 22-0 at the 2:53 point of the stanza.
“We have tremendous athletes and they do a great job of making plays,” added the Raider mentor. “This group of kids has really played well, especially since the playoffs started, and they have been so focused each week.”
A Speice touchdown pass to Korbin Showalter, good for five yards, followed on the next possession with an eight-yard scoring toss to Jared Sherry quickly made it 36-0 with 4:04 left in the first half.
Ada did get on the scoreboard as Matt Wilcox hooked up with an Owen Conley on a 24-yard touchdown pass as the Bulldogs pulled within 36-8.
However, the red, white and blue quickly answered as Speice found Korbin Showalter on a 70-yard touchdown toss and then hooked up with Jake Arend for a seven-yard scoring strike with one second left in the half.
The Raiders led 50-8 at the intermission and were never threatened.
“These kids have put in so much time all season long,” commented Speller. “They are very good athletes and they deserve all of the credit.”
Speice connected with Gerber on touchdown passes of 10 and 15 yards in the third quarter as the Raiders pushed the margin to 62-14.
Wayne Trace then closed the scoring with a 34-yard pass play that resulted in a Tyler Showalter touchdown.
“You know, the school has had a lot of success on the basketball court but this is the first time that the football program has been able to put together this type of success,” concluded Speller. “It’s great for the players and coaches because I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. We’ll enjoy this tonight and get back to work tomorrow morning in preparing for Mechanicsburg.”
Speice finished the night with 534 yards passing, completing 25 of 42 passes. Arend led the Raiders with nine receptions for 96 yards while Tyler Showalter added five catches for 155 yards. Korbin Showalter also chipped in four receptions for 198 yards.
Speice also led the Raiders on the ground with 72 yards on seven carries.
Ada was limited to 288 yards of total offense, including 81 rushing yards.
“It was an honor and a fun road to Week 13,” Olwin concluded. I’m proud of our kids and proud of everyone in the program. We knocked off some good teams this season.”
Wilcox completed 14 of 31 passes for 207 yards while also posting 38 rushing yards. Blake Ansley picked up seven receptions for 115 yards to top the Bulldogs.
Wayne Trace, now 12-1 on the season, advances to play Mechanicsburg, a 34-28 winner in double overtime over West Liberty Salem last night. The Raiders will play the Indians (11-2) at Harmon Field in Wapakoneta on Friday.