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An inside look at area high school football.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

St. Paul ready for undefeated Royals


After bumping off Hopewell-Loudon last week and Dalton the week before, the confidence of Bucyrus Wynford has climbed higher than it has ever been.

Hopewell-Loudon had been in the state championship the last two years and despite losing both games, the Chieftains were favored to go back to the state title game and try to win that elusive championship.

Enter the undefeated Royals of Bucyrus Wynford.

The Royals (12-0) scored 20 points in the first 10 minutes and hung on to beat the Chieftans, 39-30 in the Division VI regional semifinal game played in Tiffin last Saturday, advancing them to the regional championship game tomorrow night against Norwalk St. Paul at Ashland Community Stadium.

Wynford is in the playoffs for the fifth straight year and its ninth overall. Coach Travis Moyer is 93-25 during his 11 years at the helm. The Royals haven’t lost a regular season game in three seasons and haven’t lost a North Central Conference game since 2004, a span of 40-straight conference wins. Their last regular season loss was in Week 2 in 2006 to Sycamore Mohawk.

On the season, Wynford has scored 481 points (40.1 points per game) and has allowed 141 (11.8 ppg).

Its opponent St. Paul has outscored its opposition, 481-50 in the regular season and 93-7 in two playoff games. St. Paul’s smothering defense has allowed just 4.8 points per game.

With both teams scoring nearly 500 points apiece, something will have to give when the teams meet Saturday night.

The Royals have an experienced quarterback in 6-foot-4 Tyler Brause, who is heading to Kentucky next season, along with his 6-7 teammate Teven Eatmon, a tight end on offense and interior lineman on defense.

Brause was named Northwest District co-Offensive Player of the Year. Eatmon was named co-Linemen of the Year.

Wynford has averaged over 400 yards of offense, led by Brause, who has not only thrown 21 touchdown passes, but he also ran for 19 TDs. On the defensive side, Brause has also snagged six interceptions and returned three of them for TDs. In all, Brause has scored 43 touchdowns on the season.

“We’re extremely confident,” Brause said. “We got two big playoff wins under our belt and we have a pretty experienced group of guys. We’ve been to the playoffs all four years we’ve been in high school. We’re confident in our ability and what we’re bringing to the table.

“We’ve been watching film a lot. We know they’re a 4-4 man coverage on defense. We know they can throw the ball and run the ball very well so we’ve been just preparing like we’ve had the previous 12 weeks, putting in a game plan and try to do things we think can hurt them. We’re confident in what we do offensively. Our goal every game is to score 42 points. We feel like we can reach that going into every game.”

Eatmon is happy to disprove the naysayers.

“Our whole team has all the confidence, especially after beating Hopewell,” Eatmon said. “I’m pretty sure there were people who didn’t think we were going to win but now that we went out there and did it, they’ll realize that we’re for real.

“Playing St. Paul, we gotta come out hard and fast like we did last week. We can’t lose it. We gotta do it for all 48 minutes of the game.”

A win in Saturday’s game would advance the Royals to a stage they’ve never reached — the state semifinals.

“This would not only be a big for the seniors, but it will be a big win for our school,” Eatmon said. “Our school has never made it past the third round. When they went 12-1 in 2005 and that was the first year that Wynford ever won a playoff game and they won two in a row. It’ll be huge, not only for the seniors, but for the whole Wynford community.”

The Royals use a Wing-T based offense, but also like to spread the field with Brause in the shotgun. His other target on offense is 6-5 wide receiver Chris Brown, who nabbed 31 receptions for 588 yards and seven touchdowns. Logan Temple and Zack Niedermier will be in the backfield, while Eatmon lines up as a another tackle on run plays.

Defensively, Alex McNulty led the team with four sacks, while Zach Brewington and Zach Chatlain pace the defense with a combined 149 tackles.

Regardless of the outcome, Brause and his teammates have had a fun season and have dedicated it to fellow teammate Jonathan Griffin, who was diagnosed with leukemia during the summer before football season.

“It’s been a blast,” Brause said. “We’re a close group of seniors. We’ve been that way since we were little. One of our seniors Jonathan Griffin was diagnosed with leukemia during the summer. He’s been battling chemotherapy so we’ve been playing for him. He has inspired us and it’s been a lot of fun. He’s played football with us ever since junior high.”


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