WAYLAND — As the clock struck zero on Friday night, the Wayland fans stormed the field in celebration of what their team had just done. With a 28-0 shutout of Bedford, the Warriors (7-3, 3-0) clinched the Dual County (Small) League title and a playoff berth.
“This is a great group of seniors and they bought in after the first day after Thanksgiving last year they said, ‘Coach whatever you need us to do, you tell us and we are going to do it because we are going to play after Thanksgiving [this year],” said Wayland coach Scott Parseghian.
“We are starting to see the work pay off for us and it makes the [win] that much more special,” said senior wide receiver Mark Bonner.
Wayland took the lead early in the second quarter. On second and goal from the 5, quarterback Matthew Goddard lofted a pass to the corner of the end zone for Bonner, who used every inch of his 6-foot-2-inch frame to win the jump ball for the score. It finished an 86-yard drive.
“That was one of our go-to plays from the 10-yard line,” said Bonner. “It’s just me on one-on-one coverage and I have a height advantage over most cornerbacks so we are going to utilize that.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Matt Devlin forced a fumble and the Warriors recovered it at the Bedford 20. On the first play after the turnover, Goddard found Bonner again on a jump ball for a 20-yard touchdown. In a span of 15 seconds, Wayland had taken a 14-0 edge.
“Mark is playing great right now. Him and Matty have been hooking up over the last couple of games, so they are getting in that rhythm at the right time right now,” said Parseghian.
The Warriors would get another turnover in the third quarter when the snap went over the head of Bedford QB Christian Bolvin and James Carmichael jumped on the fumble at the Bedford 10-yard line. Again Wayland scored on its next play as Robert Williams (136 yards on 16 carries) ran up the middle for the TD, giving the Warriors a 21-0 lead.
“We did what we had to do, we took advantage of every turnover,” said Parseghian.
Wayland put the game away early in the fourth quarter. On fourth and 15 from the Bedford 31, Goddard connected with Brian Garcia on a perfect screen pass for a touchdown with 7:50 left.
“We have run [that play] a couple times this year, but it has never looked that good,’’ said Parseghian. “All of the blockers out in front of [Garcia], that was textbook.’’