HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio - Wayne extended its winning streak over Moeller to three games, and this time there was no late drama.
“Our defense made (Moeller) work for everything they got,” Wayne coach Jay Minton said after Friday night's 35-17 victory.
Wayne held Moeller to 24 yards rushing on 24 carries and dominated offensively.
“We had 23 first downs – controlling the ball and moving it across the field was the key for us,” Minton said.
Hear what else Minton said about the game:
In the 2014 state semifinal round, Wayne scored the decisive touchdown in the final two minutes. In last year’s meeting the Warriors denied a would-be tying two-point conversion in the closing seconds.
But Friday night's outcome was not in doubt for long.
Moeller scored in less than two minutes on a 27-yard field goal by Thomas Capano.
Later in the first quarter, Wayne notched consecutive touchdowns in a 1:41 span to take a 14-3 lead. Dwayne Morris picked off a pass and ran it back 50 yards for the first score, and after Moeller went three-and-out, Ray James caught a 44-yard TD pass on the first play of the ensuing drive.
Early in the second quarter, the Crusaders climbed back to within four when Colin Thurman caught a 7-yard TD pass from Evan Ernst.
After the teams went scoreless for a quarter and a half, Wayne ended the drought by driving 98 yards on 13 plays. Trew Davis caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Rashad McKee with 2:40 left in the third quarter, making it 21-10.
Moeller was unable to generate a first down, and the Warriors cashed in with an eight-play, 59-yard drive that culminated in a 25-yard pass from McKee to Trace Kinnel, giving Wayne a three-possession lead, 28-10.
The Crusaders pulled within 11 early in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard toss from Ernst to Jaxson Hayes, but the Warriors’ Fred Pitts sealed it with a 49-yard TD run in the closing minutes.
Wayne's McKee was 15 of 24 for 237 yards and three touchdowns, and Pitts rushed 21 times for 180 yards and the late score.
Moeller's Ernst finished 15-for-27 for 143 yards and a pair of TDs.
Moeller travels to Mason next week, and the Warriors hit the road to Miamisburg.