UPDATE:

Group of Cleveland Browns players protest, and refuse to stand during national anthem

Mechanicsburg’s season ends with lopsided loss


Mechanicsburg’s best chance to slow down Haviland Wayne Trace’s prolific passing attack was to keep the ball in running back Aertyon Erwin’s hands. But the Raiders also brought a stout run defense to Friday night’s Division VII state semifinal.

The combination was a 1-2 punch that Mechanicsburg could not handle in Wayne Trace’s 57-10 victory at Harmon Field.

Wayne Trace (13-1) will play unbeaten Kirtland, a 10-7 winner over Columbus Bishop Ready, for the state championship next week in Canton or Massillon. The OHSAA will announce Sunday whether the game will be played Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Kirtland will play in its third straight title game. The Hornets won in 2011 and were runners-up last year.

Mechanicsburg (11-3), smaller than Wayne Trace at almost every position, played in its first state semifinal and fell behind 8-0. But Erwin ran for 26 and 19 yards on the Indians’ first two plays. It looked like it would be a night of two opposites trying to outscore each other. But Erwin was held to three yards on the next three plays, and Brandon Purk kicked a 34-yard field goal. The Indians’ next first down came on the first play of the fourth quarter.

After starting with 45 yards, Erwin, who entered with 2,080 yards, finished the first half with 50 yards on 10 carries. He finished the game with 114 yards on 24 carries.

The first-half totals were enough for Wayne Trace. The Raiders, who had held opponents to 2.5 yards per carry this season, limited the Indians to 50 yards of offense in the first half and 154 for the game, all on the ground. Quarterback Kaleb Romero did not complete a pass in the first half on five attempts and missed on his only try in the second half.

Raiders’ senior quarterback Colby Speice, who stands 6-foot-3 at 200 pounds and is a big hitter at middle linebacker, picked apart the Indians from the start. He led four touchdown drives in the first half, completing 19 of 31 attempts for 263 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for two scores, including a 1-yard sneak on the final play of the first half for a 30-3 lead.

Speice, who tied a state record with nine touchdown passes last week against Ada and threw for 534 yards, finished 30-for- 46 for 346 yards and four touchdowns, running his season touchdown total to 62. The Raiders amassed 561 total yards.

The Raiders drove for the game’s first score in 1:53 to take an 8-0 lead. Speice threw incomplete on the first play, then hit on three straight to move the Raiders to the Indians’ 17. Speice handed off for the first time on the next play, and Jared Sherry scored on a draw.

The Raiders stayed in control the rest of the half. Speice scored on a 9-yard run, threw a 21-yard touchdown to Korbin Showalter on a screen pass and scored on the sneak. The second half was more of the same as the Raiders built a 50-3 lead after three quarters.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

HS Results 8/21: Centerville wins fifth straight tournament

Marissa Wenzler was the runner-up with a 70 and Kayla Ramsey added a 73, helping the Centerville girls golf team win its fifth straight tournament at the Lady Elk Invitational on Monday at Yankee Trace. Centerville finished with a 301, edging Dublin Coffman by nine strokes. Springboro was 8th with a 343 and Lakota West 10th at 350. Girls Golf Spg....
Sports teams poke fun at eclipse through social media
Sports teams poke fun at eclipse through social media

Several sports teams had some fun with Monday's solar eclipse, taking to social media to put their own spin on the celestial rarity. The Atlanta Hawks gleefully blocked out the Suns, who were only too happy to block them back. And there was a total eclipse of the Hart in Philadelphia. Let’s start in Atlanta, where the Hawks’ Twitter account...
Tennessee Titans players enjoy eclipse after practice
Tennessee Titans players enjoy eclipse after practice

Members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans were treated to a post-practice eclipse party Monday, and players laid on the field with pairs of glasses to view the celestial wonder, ESPN reported. Nashville was in the path of the solar eclipse that raced through the United States on Monday, and Titans players viewed it as Bruce Springsteen songs...
Bengals weighing options at safety at Williams injury
Bengals weighing options at safety at Williams injury

The Cincinnati Bengals have yet to put a timetable on starting safety Shawn Williams’ expected return from the gruesome elbow injury he suffered Saturday night, but the absence is expected to be significant. The most optimistic projections have Williams missing four to six weeks, but that would mean the Bengals would have to use a valuable spot...
HS Football: With nearly 50 players, Jets’ numbers are taking off
HS Football: With nearly 50 players, Jets’ numbers are taking off

The numbers are trending up for the Northeastern Jets. And so is the optimism heading into coach Tim Houseman’s third season. In 2016, the Jets recorded their best high school football season in six years and came within one victory of the program’s first winning season since going 6-4 in 2010. The team fielded 33 players in 2016. That...
More Stories