Following a 35-14 road loss to Geneva this past Saturday, the Waynesburg University football team is on the brink of rewriting the school record books, however, not in a good way.
If the Yellow Jackets lose to Thomas More College on Saturday, they will set the Waynesburg University football record for most-consecutive losses at 11 straight.
The Geneva triple option rushing attack proved to be an issue for the Yellow Jackets this past weekend in Beaver Falls. Geneva senior running back Trewon Marshall ran for almost 200 yards and found his way to the end zone twice on 25 carries.
Waynesburg grabbed the lead after its opening drive when freshman running back Jeremiah Doswell-Hardrick scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 6-yard run.
Following the opening score, the Golden Tornadoes went on to score 21 unanswered points, Waynesburg made its way to pay dirt once more due to junior running back Austin Wilson topping off a 63-yard drive with a score.
The 21-14 deficit is the closest Waynesburg would be in the second half, as Geneva would score two more times before the game was over, making it a 35-14 final score in Beaver Falls.
One of the positives from the loss was the run game, which accumulated a season-high 180 yards at Geneva. Wilson was a big part of that attack, as he became the first Yellow Jacket to obtain 100 rushing yards in a game since 2015, finishing with 101 on the afternoon.
Waynesburg tries to end the long skid this coming Saturday when the team makes its longest trek of the season to Crestview Hills, Kentucky to play the Thomas More Saints.
Thomas More has not been the same beast out of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference that won the conference the past two seasons after a 2-4, 1-3 start to 2017. With this being the final year for the Saints in the PAC, it is looking doubtful that they will be able to defend their title.
After Thomas More ended its losing streak with a 53-10 win over Grove City, the Yellow Jackets look to a few keys to end their losing streak against the Saints.
Contain the weapons
Although the Saints are not the powerhouse they have been the last few seasons, their team is still full of weapons that can make plays at any moment. Seniors Brenan Kuntz and Daylin Garland, along with juniors Hjavier Pitts and Logan Winkler were all Honorable Mentions on the 2016 All-PAC team.
Interim head coach Chris Smithley thinks the Saints compare to other teams in the PAC in terms of offensive weapons.
“Offensively, they are a really good team,” Smithley said. “It’s another situation similar to Case Western. Their quarterback is good enough to hurt you with his feet and his arm, the running back is extremely talented. They have athletes all over the field that are threats.”
Build off the run game
The Yellow Jackets had their first 100-yard game from a running back in nearly two seasons when Wilson had 101 this past weekend. With Wilson slated as the starter for Thomas More, Smithley is keeping more faith in the rushing attack to ease the pressure on his sophomore quarterback.
“We are going to continue putting an emphasis on running the football,” Smithley said. “That will help Tyler [Perone] with his reads and we’re going to try to get him back in a rhythm.”
Stay focused on the long road
Sometimes teams suffer from long road trips and end up performing poorly after a long ride on a bus. Smithley does not think the abnormally long trip to Crestview Hills for the last time will change his squad, but there could be a challenge given how young the team is.
“These guys have to know how to handle the trip,” Smithley said. “With the senior leadership and experience that we do have, those guys have to make sure the team is all ready to go.”