SYCAMORE — Coach Gabe Helbert is endearing himself to the Royals contingent one game at a time.
After slipping by River Valley on the last play of the game in its opener a week ago, Wynford hit its stride early Friday against Mohawk in a 34-13 pummeling.
Quarterback Brock Williamson threw for a pair of touchdowns and Adam Hartz caught them for the second straight week, as the Royals extended a vaunted regular season winning streak to 60 games.
Hartz’ two touchdown catches went for 119 yards. He also had a 41-yard punt return and picked off Mohawk’s Drew Loose during the bout.
“Those two guys have worked extremely hard to get to this point,” said Helbert, who took over for Travis Moyer this season after the Royals lost a senior core that never lost in the regular season.
The Royals bled Mohawk with the ground attack, racking up 287 yards on 39 attempts as the Warriors allowed over 395 yards of total offense for the second straight week. Corey Brown led the way with 104 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, Williamson had 68 yards and a score and three other Wynford backs tallied at least 30 yards.
“They (Brown and Gage Roe) have been running together as a backfield tandem for a long time, probably since fifth grade,” Helbert said. “We feel really good about those two guys.
“They work really hard in the weight room and have a real desire to run,” he added. “And you can see that out there on the field.”
Last Friday, the Warriors compensated an onslaught from Upper Scioto Valley with three interceptions. Against the Royals, they had no such luck.
“There’s a lot of things we still have to work on,” Coach Erik Baker said. “It’s not a heart thing or anything. They want to tackle. It’s an understanding of space and angles.”
The Warriors moved the ball at times, but couldn’t seem to produce when they needed to most.
Late in the second quarter, the Warriors drew an offside penalty on fourth down to cross the 50-yard line and extend a drive that could have put them within a score. An interception thrown by Gunner Johnson on a halfback pass, however, allowed Williamson to connect with Hartz for the second time 1:36 before the break for a 28-6 edge.
Mohawk knocked on the door again in its opening drive of the second half. After the Warriors recovered a fumble at the 14, Loose marched the offense down to Wynford’s 39 before Hartz picked him off on the left sideline.
“The interception before the half by Tyler Baumberger was huge,” Helbert said. “And them Adam’s came with them driving again. … They kind of used some clock and had an opportunity to take the momentum back.”
Both interceptions were preceded by a failed fourth-and-goal try from the nine in the Warriors opening drive of the game.
Aside from the key pick, Loose played well. He rushed for 49 yards, despite 25 yards being subtracted from sacks, to go along with 147 yards passing. He connected with Mitch Parker, who had eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, four times for first downs.
The Royals set the tempo early. In their opening drive, Williamson busted loose for a 23-yard run, Roe picked up another 26 on three carries and then Brown delivered the scoring blow with a nine-yard plunge up the middle.
Mohawk was set up nicely on its second drive of the contest. An errant handoff from Williamson to Roe enabled Warriors Ryan Biller to recover the ball at Wynford’s 19. The Warriors would score three plays later when Parker recovered a fumble from Loose in the end zone after a six-yard pickup to tie it at 6. Stillberger was stopped short of the goal line during the two-point try on a pitchout to the left.
But the Royals would score on three of their last four drives of the first half. Williamson scored on a quarterback sneak at 6:01, before hitting Hartz with touchdown passes of 55 and 64 yards. On the former grab, Hartz caught the ball on an out route for what appeared to be an innocent eight-yard gain, before pivoting past Mohawk’s Kevin Lonsway and streaking down the right sideline.
Mohawk did not record its second score until 1:25 in the final quarter, on a 30-yard strike from Loose to Mitch Parker, who caught eight balls for 113 yards in Friday’s contest.
By that time, the Royals had already gone up 34-6 on a four-yard punch in by Gage at the 3:13 mark in the third, set up by a 55-run from Brown.
Wynford opens Northern Central Conference play 7 p.m. Friday at Riverdale, while Mohawk will travel to Upper Sandusky for a showdown with the Rams at the same time.
By NICK MARLOW
Score by quarters
Wynford 6 22 6 0 – 34
Mohawk 6 0 0 7 – 13
W — Brown 9 yard run (Mohr kick no good), 9:11.
M — Mitch Parker fumble recovery in end zone (two-point failed), 43.5 seconds.
W — Williamson 1 yard run (two-point conversion failed), 6:01.
W — Williamson 55-yard pass to Hartz (two point conversion to Skidmore), 3:37.
W — Williamson 64-yard pass to Hartz (Roe 2 yard run), 1:36.
W — Roe four yard run (failed two-point try), 3:13.
M — Loose 30-yard pass to Parker (Godinez kick), 1:25.
Wynford: Williamson 6-8, 149 yards.
Mohawk: Loose 12-20, 147 yards, interception.
Wynford: Brown 12-104; Williamson 8-68; Roe 8-49; Tommy Hardin 1-6; Hayden Rhoades 4-29; Levi Schafer 6-31;
Mohawk: Grant Price 10-29; Logan Stillberger 6-19; Drew Loose 16-41; Grant Ekleberry 5-18; Gunner Johnson 6-21.
Wynford: Snode 1-7; Hunter Miller 2-21; Adam Hartz 2-119; Deric Skidmore 1-2.
Mohawk: Mitch Parker 8-113; Grant Price 1-1; Hunter Fitschen 1-3; Logan Stillberger 1-10; Gunner Johnson 1-20.
First downs 12 16
Yards rushing 287 128
Yards passing 149 147
Passes intercepted by 2 0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-0
Punting 0-0 0-0
Penalties 5-25 1-5