WAITSBURG — Waitsburg-Prescott scored 28 points off seven Dayton turnovers and rolled to a 41-7 Southeast 2B League win over the Bulldogs on Friday.
W-P (4-1overall, 2-0 in SE2B play) forced four fumbles and three interceptions, which left Dayton (0-5, 0-3) scrambling on defense to protect short fields.
“The turnovers got us,” Dayton head coach Dean Bickelhaupt said. “We had too many miscues and turnovers. When you do that against a team like this, on their homefield, it’s going to take its toll on you.”
W-P’s ground game got the offense rolling early and often, as W-P finished with 205 rushing yards. Running back Chance Leroue followed a herculean effort from a week ago against DeSales (149 yards, three touchdowns) with another dazzling performance.
Leroue racked up 135 yards and two touchdowns while averaging more than 10 yards per touch.
Leroue said he expected the offense to move the ball through the air more, but he was fine with carrying the offensive workload.
“It feels pretty good,” Leroue said. “I feel like I’m carrying the team on my back a little bit and I don’t want to let them down.”
Quarterback Owen Lanning also bolstered the W-P attack as he totaled 62 yards on the ground, with 44 of them coming on his first carry of the game.
With three minutes left in the first quarter, Lanning kept the ball on a read-option play and darted across the right side of the field to give W-P a 7-0 lead.
On the Bulldogs’ ensuing possession, Leroue, who doubles as a linebacker, came off the left edge to bring down Dayton’s quarterback, Christian Warner, and force a fumble.
W-P recovered on the Dayton 11-yard line and promptly ran two plays, with Lanning punching the ball in from four yards out on another read-option.
“Owen is doing a great job,” W-P head coach Jeff Bartlow said. “I expect him to do a great job and he is. He’s had some good plays — threw the ball pretty good and ran the ball really good. He’s tough and he’s athletic and he’s smart. That all goes together to make a pretty good quarterback.”
Lanning also finished with 84 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns.
After a Leroue 24-yard touchdown, Lanning found Devin Acevedo sprinting down the right side of the field for a 29-yard touchdown pass to give W-P a 28-0 lead in the second quarter.
Once again, W-P forced a fumble and started its drive on the Dayton 30-yard line.
W-P’s stalwart defense was key, as it held the Bulldogs to only 140 yards of total offense.
Bartlow said his defense focused on the Bulldogs’ running game, and especially running back Lowden Smith.
“They’re a running team and they have some really good athletes,” Bartlow said. “Lowden Smith is a really good player. We just focused on where he was in their lineup and really worked hard to keep him in check.”
Smith finished the game with only 53 yards on 18 carries, as he had trouble finding holes in the air-tight W-P defense.
“I knew W-P would come out with a good defense scheme,” Bickelhaupt said. “We did alright, we moved the ball a few times and I was happy with my kids other than the miscues. I was proud of Lowden, he always runs hard.”
Smith did get the only score of the game for the Bulldogs, as he recovered a Jacob Dunn fumble during the fourth quarter and returned it 68 yards for the score.
W-P goes to Mabton and Dayton hosts Tri-Cities Prep Friday.
Waitsburg-Prescott 41, Dayton 7
Day 0 0 0 7 — 7
W-P 14 20 7 0 — 41
W-P — Lanning 44 run (Benito kick)
W-P — Lanning 4 run (Benito kick)
W-P — Leroue 24 run (Benito kick)
W-P — Acevedo 18 pass from Lanning (Benito kick)
W-P — Leroue 7 run (Benito kick missed)
W-P — Brown 3 pass from Lanning (Benito kick)
Day — Smith 68 fumble return (Smith kick)
First Downs 8 8
Rushes-Yards 31-71 26-205
Passing yards 69 89
Passes (Att-Comp-Int) 13-3-3 20-9-0
Punts 3-101 3-102
Fumbles-lost 6-4 2-2
Penalties-yards 6-52 7-60
RUSHING — Day: Martin 2-6, Smith 18-53, Warner 7-0, Kleck 4-12; W-P: Leroue 13-135-2, Lanning 5-62-2, Larsen 1-3, Acevedo 1-5, Kitselman 1-3, Team 5-(-3).
PASSING — Day: Warner 13-3-3 69 yards; W-P: Lanning 16-7-0 84 yards, 2 TDs, Dunn 4-2-0 5 yards.
RECEIVING — Day: West 2-59, Smith 1-10; W-P: Acevedo 5-73-1, Brown 1-3-1, Leroue 1-11, Alexenko 1-1, Crockitt 1-1.