POCA -- Wayne powered past Poca in its usual form with a dominating 54-27 Cardinal Conference win Friday night at O.O White Stadium.
Through the air and on the ground, Wayne (8-0) exercised offensive balance and strength to cruise to a 48-7 halftime lead before Poca drew closer in the second half. With 538 total yards, the Pioneers worked both aspects of their offense, passing and rushing, to keep the Dots defense on its heels.
"The big thing is having options," Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. "If we're able to do one, that opens up areas in the other one. Sometimes getting both of those going at the same time is a hard thing to do. It always works best when you can do a little bit of both."
Pioneers junior quarterback Grant Ferguson completed 7 of 13 passes for 173 yards and four touchdowns, with a scoring play to three different receivers in less than two quarters of playing time.
That mix between running and passing has become one of the team's many strengths, Ferguson said.
"We like to balance it up and have the run or pass option in whatever formation we get in, and that's what makes us so dominant sometimes in our games," he said. "Whenever we come out, we can throw three straight times and they think we're going to run it again in the same formation, and we go with a run. That's what we've been working on and that's our plan."
Wayne's offense found its best option through the air in the first half.
"Whenever we came out, we saw [Poca] had people in the box and the way they were playing their defense, we knew we could pass on them right off the bat, so that's what we did the first half," Ferguson said.
Big plays proved pivotal for Wayne in the opening half, with touchdowns covering 20, 55, 58 and 62 yards. The Pioneers scored twice on single-play drives.
With a commanding lead at halftime, Wayne played its reserves thereafter. Poca took advantage against the lesser-experienced Pioneers and scored 20 second-half points.
Dots junior Levi Clendenin accounted for all four scores for Poca, with two rushing touchdowns and two touchdown receptions from quarterback Andrew Gibson.