[ Andrew Bowlby | WOUB ]

Waverly clutches up against Minford, keeps playoff bid alive

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MINFORD, Ohio (WOUB) — The Waverly Tigers took a 30 minute trip south to Minford to take on the Falcons. Both teams entered the night still searching for a playoff spot but for Waverly the stakes were a bit higher. With a win the Tigers chance to clinch a playoff spot was 98%, with a loss, only 9%.

Waverly was consistently hitting big plays, and after halftime adjustments on defense the Tigers found themselves running away with the win 49-24.

Minford opened the game with the ball and let junior running back Jeffery Pica take center stage. The offensive line opened up a hole and Pica ran the ball 62 yards for the game’s first score.

On Waverly’s ensuing possession, Tigers quarterback missed his target and the ball bounced into the hands of Falcons linebacker J.D. Matiz. Although Minford had all of the momentum, the offense was unable to score and turned the ball over on downs a few plays later.

The Tigers needed a spark and got just that from receiver Mason Sparks. He caught two passes setting Waverly up in the red zone. Down near the goal line they ran an end around and Hudson Kelly scored the first points of the night for Waverly.

A poor snap on the extra point forced Waverly to scramble and convert an unexpected two-point conversion.

After stalling out in the red zone, Minford settled for a chip-shot field goal off the foot of Myles Montgomery.

Less than a minute later Waverly star running back Jase Hurd would go to work. A 62-yard rush to the end zone reinstating the Tiger lead.

Minford stalled out again near midfield and were unsuccessful on a fake punt. Waverly was set up with great field position and they took full advantage. Quarterback Mason Kelly threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to his brother Hudson.

Just when Waverly was getting comfortable with their 12-point lead, Minford answered with Pica. A long run ending in the end zone pulled Minford right back into the game.

Coming out of the halftime locker room the Tigers were ready to open up their five-point lead and with back-to-back 50-yard touchdowns the lead was up to three scores. 

Minford responded and fought until the end but were unable to stick with a Waverly team fighting for their playoff lives.

The Tigers will finish their season next week at home against Oak Hill (1-7). Minford plays their week 10 game at Valley (3-5).