JEFFERSON — Waynesburg Central kicked off the start of the WPIAL season Friday afternoon with a 38-0 victory against Jefferson-Morgan.
The kickoff was pushed up to 4 p.m. due to lighting problems at Jefferson-Morgan’s Parker Field for the earliest starting time in Week Zero.
The Raiders used their offensive line power, running the ball 11 of the first 13 plays in the first quarter.
Trevor Stephenson opened the scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:47 left in the first quarter. Caleb Shriver scored on a 33-yard run and Stephenson caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Darnell Johnson in the second quarter.
Waynesburg had 194 total yards to the Rockets’ zero with the Raiders leading at halftime, 18-0.
Shriver scored on a 12-yard run and Johnson scampered into the end zone from four yards out in the third quarter. Johnson found Nick Higginbotham open for a 25-yard scoring pass to close the scoring early in the fourth quarter.
Despite the big offensive numbers, the Raiders mishandled the ball throughout the game. Waynesburg head coach Chad Coss felt the defense was able to make up for the mistakes.
“Overall, we played well,” said Coss. “Jefferson, they never quit. They played the whole game. It was a great game. We gave them a couple chances there, but luckily our defense come out and shut them down.”
Waynesburg fumbled the ball five times, losing three.
“Nothing we had here was execution-wise. It was just practicable mistakes we can fix,” said Coss
Jefferson-Morgan’s Aaron Giorgi said it was the dominance of Waynesburg’s offensive and defensive lines that dictated the play.
“Their size was definitely a problem for us up the middle,” said coach Giorgi. “We didn’t have any success up the middle today and we kind of knew that going into the game. We would have to get to the edges, we just have to clean (missed assignments) up. I think we are on the right path right now, but we need to clean up our blocking assignments and route running.”
Waynesburg’s offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage with over 180 yards rushing. Coss said going forward the success of the line will control how the team performs.
“They played their hearts out as usual. I mean that’s where we won the football game. We could basically run any play we wanted up front,” said Coss. “I tell them all the time we win and lose football games depending on how they play, and we won today because the way they played.”
Waynesburg travels to Aliquippa Friday for its first conference game, while Jefferson-Morgan is on the road at Chartiers-Houston.