MERCERSBURG >> Now that is how you break a losing streak.
For Waynesboro, loser of four straight games, the last three by a total of 18 points, Friday's 60-3 Mid Penn Colonial Division football victory over James Buchanan felt like the release of a month's worth of pent-up frustration.
Quarterback Brady Riddell accounted for four touchdowns, running back Jake Wertz ran for 133 yards on just 11 carries and the Indian defense did the rest, limiting the winless Rockets (0-8, 0-5 MPC) to fewer than 40 yards of total offense.
"Three in a row, less than a touchdown, that was tough," Waynesboro coach Steven Myers said. "So this feels real good tonight and we are just looking to finish the season strong."
Waynesboro's playoff hopes – the Indians (4-4, 1-3 MPC) were ranked 19th in Class AAAA before Friday – lie in front of them, with Greencastle-Antrim and Big Spring left on the schedule.
The Indians got back on track thanks to 412 yards of offense and a blitz of five touchdowns in a 15-minute stretch of game time. It didn't hurt that the Waynesboro defense held JB to 37 yards and only three first downs, none in the second half.
"This was a much-needed win," Wertz said. "We were struggling a lot and this boosts our confidence. We are hoping to win out and make the playoffs. We worked together as a team and were able to get a good, quality win today."
A pair of quarterback keepers by Riddell put Waynesboro up 14-0 in the first quarter, and it was only getting heated up.
On the last play of the opening quarter, James Buchanan fumbled and Waynesboro took over at the Rocket 23. Four plays later, Wertz bounced left for a 9-yard touchdown run.
On the play, Wertz was popped and fumbled at the goal line, but it was deemed the ball had reached the end zone. A pair of unsportsmanlike penalties on the Rockets had Waynesboro kicking off from the JB 30, so the Indians tried an onside kick and it was recovered by Brandon Baer.
On fourth-and-2, Wertz scored on an almost identical 9-yard run – this time minus the close call – for a 27-0 lead. Following Chas Shelly's 31-yard Rocket field goal with 1:40 left in the first half, Waynesboro answered with a pretty 51-yard touchdown pass from Riddell to Charlie Patterson up the right seam for a 34-3 halftime advantage.
"Up front we dominated offensively and defensively," Myers said. "We haven't been able to run the ball the last couple of weeks so it felt good to get that going there tonight."
The Indians scored 1:24 into the second half and victory was well within hand. Waynesboro rushed for 251 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground. Matt Peck also hauled in a 50-yard score and finished with 102 receiving yards.
Wertz said, "The line blocked their butts off and they did a great job – I couldn't do it without them tonight."
NOTES >> On the third play of the game, JB quarterback Remi Spoonhour, who left in the third quarter with a leg injury, hit Caden Ficks on a nifty 22-yard pass on third-and-16 After that, the Rockets ran 33 plays that gained 15 yards Waynesboro also got scores from Aiden Smith, Mason Frampton and Patrick Swiney JB avoided a further first half deficit when Clay Ziemba intercepted Riddell in the end zone on the last play of the first half.
James Buchanan 3
W — Brady Riddell 2 run (George Souders kick), 4:34
W — Riddell 1 run (Souders kick), 1:36
W — Jake Wertz 9 run (kick blocked), 10:48
W — Wertz 9 run (Souders kick), 9:12
JB — Chas Shelly 31 field goal, 1:40
W — Charlie Patterson 51 pass from Riddell (Souders kick), 1:00
W — Aiden Smith 8 run (Souders kick), 10:36
W — Matt Peck 50 pass from Riddell (Andrew Broas kick), 6:36
W — Mason Frampton 1 run (kick failed), 11:49
W — Patrick Swiney 21 run (kick failed), 5:54
Rushing — Way, Wertz 11-133, Smith 6-47, Frampton 6-42, Swiney 1-21, Riddell 6-8, Jimmy Hoffman 1-0. JB, Remi Spoonhour 7-21, Evan Stoner 1-9, Seth Carbaugh 8-3, Colby Bradshaw 1-2, Dillon Sanders 1-(-4), Clay Sanders 2-(-5), Caden FIcks 1-(-6).
Passing — Way, Riddell 7-16-1-161. JB, Spoonhour 3-10-0-22, C.Sanders 0-3-0-0, Carbaugh 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — Way, Peck 5-104, Patterson 1-51, Wertz 1-6. JB, Ficks 1-22, Clayton Bendell 1-2, D.Sanders 1-(-2).
Interceptions — JB, Clay Ziemba.