Any nervousness Rashad McKee battled was gone after absorbing his first big hit. That didn’t take long to happen for the Wayne newbie quarterback on Friday night against visiting Moeller.
“It calmed me down,” admitted the sophomore, who was instrumental in a 35-17 win. “I thought, just play football and go with what you know.”
Wayne (1-0-1) is loaded with many proven players at most positions except QB. McKee is big and durable at 6 feet, 190 pounds, has a strong and accurate arm and resembles a running back in the open field. He passed his first major test by completing 16 of 25 passes for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no picks against a quality opponent.
RELATED: Wayne beats Moeller, 35-17
If QB was a concern coming into this season for the Warriors, it isn’t now.
“The thing I worried about with Rashad was this type of situation,” QB coach and offensive coordinator Brian Blevins said. “I knew he had the talent to do things, but you’ve got to be able to grow up quick. That’s why sophomores usually don’t start.”
RELATED: Week 3 schedule
It was a statement win and marked Wayne’s third straight defeat of Moeller in the last three seasons. Wayne head coach Jay Minton said this brief two-game regular-season series has ended, but there could be an extension if neither team can land Week 2 games next season.
At this point for these high-end programs, landing any non-league opponent is as challenging as pursuing a Division I state title. Wayne has lost the last two title games and three since 2010. Moeller owns nine state titles, most recently in 2013 and ’12.
That isn’t lost on Wayne senior running back Fred Pitts.
“Of course it was a statement,” declared Pitts after rumbling for a career-high 188 yards on 22 carries, including a 50-yard TD dash. “We’ve got goals to meet this year.”
Wayne is at Lakota West (0-2) and Miamisburg (2-0) in Weeks 3-4. Moeller pounded West 47-14 in its opener. Wayne has done likewise to unbeaten Miamisburg teams the last two seasons.
• Vandalia-Butler had to wait a week to deliver a plaque and game ball to first-year head coach Nathan Hyatt following Friday’s 24-7 win at Tecumseh.
“That meant a lot,” said Hyatt, who previously was on staffs at Oakwood, Chaminade Julienne and Butler and was Bradford’s head coach last season.
In Week 1, Butler opened with a 24-14 loss at defending D-II state runner-up Massillon Perry.
Starting Butler QB Tyler Burley suffered a broken collarbone on the fifth play against Tecumseh and likely is lost for the season. Sophomore sub Mason Motter completed 9 of 18 passes for 140 yards and a TD.
“Tyler’s a great kid, Hyatt said. “He’s a four-point-thousand GPA kid and he’s a class act. It’s really sad to see that happen to him.”
• It’s only Week 3, but the Midwest Athletic Conference likely will be decided on Friday when Marion Local (2-0) hosts Coldwater (2-0). The two small-ball titans have combined to win every MAC title since Delphos St. Johns capped a 15-0 run by winning the D-VI state championship in 2010.
Coldwater has won four straight D-V state titles and is 30-2 in MAC play since 2012, both losses to Marion Local. The Flyers are 29-3 in the MAC in that span, twice losing to Coldwater and another to Versailles. Coldwater is the defending MAC champ and owns a 25-game win streak. Marion Local had a streak of four straight D-VI or D-VII state titles snapped in last year’s state championships.
Last season Coldwater edged visiting Marion Local 17-14 on Kyle McKibben’s 44-yard field goal with 1.4 seconds left in a Week 7 matchup. That snapped the Flyers’ 43-game win streak.
Here’s the only info that matters if you’re planning to attend the showdown at Maria Stein: Arrive early.
• Three area Week 3 games will be televised. On Thursday it’s Tecumseh (1-1) at Bellbrook (2-0) in the ABC 22 and FOX 45 Thursday Night Lights matchup (live on channel 45.2) at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Time Warner Cable has added Centerville (1-1) at Pickerington North (2-0) and Trotwood-Madison (1-1) at Middletown (1-1). Centerville/North will air at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Trotwood/Middletown also will be a delayed airing at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. on Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Those games are on TWC Channels 1311 (HD), 311 and 99.