Coming together as a team helped the Indians prepare for a Mid Penn Colonial Division game against Northern York on Monday night after heavy rains pushed the game back from Friday.
"I don't think anybody was really expecting (the firing) at this point," Waynesboro quarterback Nathan Toney said. "We just tried to come out and play hard and kind of forget about what happened. It sucks, but things happen; you just have to keep playing."
Waynesboro had a tough time pulling together in the first half, though, allowing the Polar Bears to put up a 35-0 lead before halftime and eventually secure a 42-14 victory.
"They're in a tough spot," Northern coach Garrett Mowery said. "They lost their coach this week and everything else, so we took advantage of whatever we could."
Quarterback Luke Lynes had stunningly impressive stats for the Polar Bears (3-4, 2-2 MPC). He played in only the first half, but completed nine of 10 passes for 246 yards and threw five touchdown passes. Three of his TD passes found receivers wide open in the middle of the field, and they then used the space to easily juke around Indian defenders for long scores.
Colton Baxter led with two TDs on 21- and 64-yard catches. Terelle Hicks, Richard Settle and Bobby Shelly also scored for the Polar Bears with 58-, 38- and 18-yard completions, respectively.
"The line up front was awesome; I didn't get hit once the entire time I was in," Lynes said. "They played a standard cover-three the whole game, and I know how to beat that. Our receivers know how to beat that, so we just attacked our routes according to their defense, and it worked."
Mowery said, "We really started to work with Luke's eyes and looking people off, and I think he did a good job with that tonight."
Waynesboro interim coach Steve Myers said he thought the rough start was a big reason Northern earned the "W."
"I actually thought we had a great week of practice, but we had that disjoint because we didn't play until Monday," Myers said. "We came out a little flat, and I think if we had've started the way we should've, it would've been a lot different. It could've been much closer."
Indian lineman Zach Stumbaugh said, "We needed to start out more intense from the very beginning. We played great defense in the second half, but it has to be the whole game."
Waynesboro couldn't get anything going offensively. Although Brady Beckner scored twice - once on a two-yard run and once on an 11-yard pass from Matt Peck - helping the Indians (0-7, 0-4 MPC) avoid a shutout, Waynesboro totaled just 111 yards of offense, compared to Northern's 413.
Peck contributed nearly all of the offense, totaling 76 yards on the ground on four carries. He also snagged one pass for 31 yards.
"Offensively, there are things we need to change," Waynesboro RB/LB Mike Kassman said. "The big plays were there, but just one person would miss their assignment and the entire play got screwed up. Once we get on the same page, blocking the right guys, I think we'll have a good game."
Waynesboro has just three games left to get that ever-elusive first win of the season, and without their coach, the Indians know it's going to be a tall order.
"Without our head coach, it's a big setback," Kassman said. "We have to fight the adversity, though. Shacreaw and I were very close, but I just have to fight no matter what. Coaches change; people move on. I just have to keep going."
Stumbaugh said, "There's no reason to take a step back from this; all we can do is go forward. We're all still a team. Everyone is still connected, and we're working hard every day."
Myers may not know the exact answer right now for how Waynesboro will get its first win of the season, but he does plan to implement some new strategies.
"Changing some logistics and changing some structures," Myers said. "We'll be getting at it at practice, and we just have to put everything together. We're a young team; we've been improving all year. We just have to put everything together, and I think it'll finally click for us."
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @liziarbogast.
Northern 21 14 0 7 - 42
Waynesboro 0 0 0 14 - 14
Nor - Colton Baxter 21 pass from Luke Lynes (Aiden Alves kick), 9:02
Nor - Terelle Hicks 58 pass from Lynes (Alves kick), 7:03
Nor - Richard Settle 38 pass from Lynes (Alves kick), 3:41
Nor - Bobby Shelly 18 pass from Lynes (Alves kick), 4:52
Nor - Baxter 64 pass from Lynes (Alves kick), 0:19
Way - Brady Beckner 2 run (run failed) 10:50
Nor - Justin Markle 2 run (Alves kick), 3:20
Way - Beckner 11 pass from Matt Peck (Ben Gsell pass from Peck), 0:04
First downs 4 9
Rushes-yds. 21-55 31-161
Passing yds. 56 252
Total offense 111 413
Passing 6-23-1 10-12-1
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Punts-avg. 8-32 2-23.5
Penalties-yds. 0-0 5-45
RUSHING - Way, Peck 4-76, Austin Ruff 1-3, Alex Cline 1-0, Beckner 1-(-1), Nathan Toney 1-(-8), Brett Mohn 11-(-15). Nor, Zech Ingram 7-54, Sam Geisser 10-38, Settle 1-26, Hicks 4-16, Ray Avila 1-11, Markle 4-10, Mike Kearney 1-4, Lynes 1-2.
PASSING - Way, Toney 5-21-45-1, Peck 1-2-11-0. Nor, Lynes 9-10-246-1, Markle 1-2-6-0.
RECEIVING - Way, Gsell 2-10, Mohn 2-4, Peck 1-31, Beckner 1-11. Nor, Baxter 2-85, Hicks 2-60, Settle 2-48, Shelly 2-38, Tucker Mizerak 1-15, Kearney 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS - Way, Jake Wertz. Nor, Hicks.