WHITEHOUSE — Anthony Wayne blanked Napoleon 21-0 Friday in Northern Lakes League action. It was the fourth-straight game the Generals have not allowed a point.
“You can’t win if you don’t put points on the board,” said Napoleon football coach Tory Strock.
The Wildcats held Anthony Wayne to half of its scoring average for the season, but could not get the ball into the end zone.
“I thought the kids gave a championship effort tonight,” said Strock. “It was not always championship execution, but when you play with great effort you always have a chance. We asked the players to be fearless and they were that.”
Napoleon’s defense was put to the test on the first possession, with the Generals driving from their own 21 to the Napoleon 13 before a sack by Justin Aldrich on third down forced Anthony Wayne into fourth-and-long.
Quarterback Mason Alberts scrambled from one sideline to the other, but came up short and Napoleon took over on downs.
A short punt by Napoleon gave Anthony Wayne good field position, but Jaden Brubaker, playing defensive end, intercepted a short pass and returned the ball to the Generals’ 42-yard line.
Napoleon drove to the Anthony Wayne 13, but was called for a false start penalty on first down and two plays later there was an overthrown ball in the end zone.
The Wildcats eventually turned the ball over on downs.
“You have to put points on the board when you have those kinds of opportunities,” said Strock. “A big play was the penalty on first down. In a game like this, you want to be on schedule. First and 15 is not on schedule. Still, we were in four-down territory and had opportunities.”
With time running out in the opening period, Anthony Wayne took over and drove 85 yards in 15 plays, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Ezra Scott.
The drive lasted more than six minutes.
After the Cats drove to the Anthony Wayne 19, but had to again turn the ball over on downs, the Generals went 82 yards in 1:29 to score just before halftime.
Alberts was 4 of 5 passing on the drive, connecting with Bobby Miller for a 34-yard gain to the Napoleon 47 and capping the drive with a 21-yard pass to Miller in the corner of the end zone.
“They can’t go 82 yards in less than two minutes like that,” said Strock. “On the same hand, they connected on two really deep balls that were really nice catches.”
With Scott on the bench with an injury for almost the entire second half, both teams were unable to score until the Generals took advantage of a short field after an interception.
Charles Renninger capped the seven-play, 42-yard drive with a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Scott, despite not playing much of the second half, led Anthony Wayne’s offense with 120 yards rushing on 18 carries. Renninger finished with 55 yards on 15 carries, while Alberts tallied 48 yards on 12 carries.
Alberts was also 6 of 12 passing for 93 yards with a TD and two interceptions.
Jarrett Gerdeman led Napoleon with 64 yards on 16 carries, while Michael Chipps had 56 yards on 15 carries. The Wildcats had 161 yards rushing in the game.
“It’s hard to drive 70 and 80 yards against their defense,” said Strock. “I think we did better than anybody between the 20s (against them) and that is a testament to the kids and their toughness.”
Anthony Wayne is now 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the NLL. Napoleon is now 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the NLL. The Wildcats travel to Perrysburg Friday.
Nap 0 0 0 0 — 0
AW 0 14 0 7 — 21
First downs 9 17
Rushes/Yards 39/161 47/241
Passes comp/att 2/8 6/12
Passing yards 15 93
Had intercepted 1 2
Fumbles/lost 0/0 1/0
Penatlies/yards 2/10 4/35
AW — Scott 3-yard run (Hamid kick)
AW — Alberts 21-yard pass to Miller (Hamid kick)
AW — Renninger 1-yard run (Hamid kick)