WEST PORTSMOUTH – The Portsmouth West Senators are likely glad that Waverly’s Payton Shoemaker is graduating.
That’s because the standout senior Shoemaker, a Division IV third-team all-Ohio all-purpose performer last season, scorched the Senators with three rushing touchdowns and an interception return for a score in leading visiting Waverly to a 37-7 victory on Friday night at The Rock.
The loss was the young Senators’ third consecutive, as they fell to 2-4.
The experienced, speedy and athletic Tigers are now 5-1, having won three in a row following their lopsided loss against Unioto.
Friday’s affair marked the SOC II opener for both clubs.
Shoemaker scored all three of Waverly’s first-quarter touchdowns – on runs of 24, 23 and finally 55 yards.
Greyson Diener, the Tigers’ all-Ohio placekicker, drilled all three extra-point kicks for a 21-0 advantage after the opening period.
Shoemaker then returned an interception 35 yards for a score for Waverly’s final touchdown – with 3:25 to play in the second quarter and with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s running-clock rule all ready in effect for the second half.
Diener’s final of five extra points made it 37-0, as the Tigers tallied 16 second-stanza points – including a Diener 26-yard field goal that made it 24-0 at the 9:13 mark.
Just four minutes later, Will Futhey’s 14-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Hayd’n Shanks extended the lead to 30-0, putting the running-clock rule on alert.
Trailing 37-0, the Senators averted the shutout by scoring with four-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter – on a 37-yard run by William Journey.
Caleb Hazelbaker had the West extra point.
Of the Tigers’ 292 rushing yards, Shoemaker went off for 213 on 19 carries.
Shanks completed 8-of-15 passes for 111 yards, with Futhey for 54 yards and Phoenix Wolfe for 57 yards catching four balls apiece.
The Tigers out-gained the Senators by 300 yards (403-104), ran the football 40 times, and held a 17-6 advantage in first downs.
Journey paced West with 60 yards on 15 carries, as the Senators tallied just 75 yards on the ground on 30 attempts.
Luke Bradford, who rushed eight times for 20 yards, completed just two of his 11 pass attempts.
Hunter Brown caught one for 23 yards, while Journey had the other for six.
West will host Minford in the SOC II next Friday night, while Waverly hosts Valley in the league.
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