WAYNESBORO >> It's no secret that Spencer Meyers is one of the top quarterbacks in Franklin County.
So when he went down with a broken arm midway through the first quarter of Friday night's Mid Penn Colonial Division game, it was seriously bad news for Greencastle-Antrim.
But Meyers' absence wasn't the only thing that contributed to a lopsided loss at the hands of Waynesboro. The Indians scored in nearly every way possible and captured a dominating 53-19 victory.
"I was looking forward to playing against (Meyers) because I know he's a good quarterback," Waynesboro's Dakota Rhyne said. "I was looking forward to getting a couple sacks on him, but he went out. It's football; stuff happens. I think it definitely played to our advantage, but I think we would've won the game either way."
Greencastle (6-3, 2-3 MPC) also suffered the loss of starting safety Matt Christman, also to a broken arm.
"It took a little while to get it going; they put everybody in the box and forced us to throw," Blue Devil coach Chuck Tinninis said. "Defensively, we had to make stops, and we didn't. They scored on special teams. They had picks, fumble recoveries. It snowballed on us. Hats off to Waynesboro, though, because they made plays."
Shortly after the injury to Meyers, who is also the Blue Devils' punter, Waynesboro (5-4, 2-3 MPC) took advantage of some good field position when Jake Wertz broke off a 38-yard run to the Blue Devil 2. Two plays later, Aiden Smith bullied up the middle for a one-yard score.
On the Blue Devils' first play of their ensuing possession, Rhyne forced a fumble and recovered it to set up the Indian offense at the G-A 24. An illegal block in the back flag pushed 'Boro back 15 yards, but no matter. Wertz snuck up the middle, broke through a host of Blue Devil defenders and scored a 40-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
"The line was doing really good in front of me," said Wertz, who piled up 204 rushing yards. "That really helped me out. I was able to get some holes and make good cuts. I got around a couple defenders to score some touchdowns and get a lot of yards."
Tinninis said, "He got a couple cracks, and you can't give kids like that cracks."
Another costly mishap for the Blue Devils came just a few plays later, when Tyler Hahn grabbed an easy interception and took it to the house for a 43-yard touchdown. By the end of the first half, Smith and Wertz had each added another score, and the Indians led, 32-13.
"Any time the defense can score, that's a huge bonus, and we scored on special teams tonight as well," Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said. "Every little bit helps, and the defense put us in good positions, and we put them in some good positions. We played a very complete game tonight."
Brandon Baer returned the second-half opening kick 81 yards for a score.
There was one bright spot for the Blue Devils, and that came in the form of Kyrin Zimmerman. He finished with 33 rushing yards on five carries, four catches for 25 yards and an interception, but it was his work on special teams that gave Greencastle a fighting chance. He had several returns of 30-plus yards.
"I felt like I did a pretty good job," Zimmerman said. "I give God all the glory. He's the one that gave me the talent. My teammates give me the blocks to give me space to go, and after that, it's just up to me to try to get through the hole."
NOTES >> The Blue Devils actually ran more plays than Waynesboro, 63-35, and had more first downs, 12-8 ... Backup quarterback Cade McDowell tossed a pair of touchdown passes, both to Tyler Jeffreys; Tinninis said, "(Cade, a sophomore) is a good, solid kid, and he's gonna be a great one. As he got comfortable in the game, he started playing better."
Waynesboro 53, Greencastle 19
GA — Derek Measell 13 pass from Spencer Meyers (Austyn Smith kick), 9:48
Way — Aiden Smith 1 run (kick failed), 1:07
Way — Jake Wertz 40 run (kick failed), 0:15.8
Way — Tyler Hahn 43 interception return (pass failed), 11:10
GA — Tyler Jeffreys 32 pass from Cade McDowell (pass failed), 7:47
Way — Smith 2 run (George Souders kick), 4:49
Way — Wertz 61 run (Souders kick), 0:00
Way — Brandon Baer 81 kickoff return (Souders kick), 11:46
Way — Brady Riddell 1 run (Souders kick), 9:05
Way — Cameron Keck 23 pass from Riddell (Souders kick), 10:31
GA — Jeffreys 26 pass from McDowell (kick failed), 6:03
GAWayFirst downs128Rushes-yards40-16524-208Passing9-23-15-11-2Passing yards134107Total yards299315Punts5-26.42-38.5Fumbles-lost3-21-1Penalties-yards8-456-57
Rushing — GA, James Hines 9-72, McDowell 10-37, Kyrin Zimmerman 5-33, Bailey Parker 7-14, Measell 8-9. Way, Wertz 13-204, Smith 4-8, Mason Frampton 1-(-2), Riddell 6-(-2).
Passing — GA, McDowell 7-21-110-1, Meyers 2-2-24-0. Way, Riddell 5-11-107-2.
Receiving — GA, Zimmerman 4-25, Jeffreys 2-59, Measell 2-35, Hines 1-15. Way, Matt Peck 3-69, Keck 1-23, Charlie Patterson 1-12.
Interceptions — GA, Sam Sprague, Zimmerman. Way, Hahn.