McKenzie shines, but Devils get win

September 17, 2005|By CHRIS CARTER


With the game on the line in the final minute, Mike McKenzie - Waynesboro's best offensive weapon - somehow managed not to touch the ball.

Instead, on fourth-and-1 from the Greencastle 14-yard line, Indians quarterback Cory Livengood was gobbled up by the Blue Devils' defensive front, which preserved a 28-21 victory in a matchup of area rivals.

"It's not all about me. It's about the team," said McKenzie, who carried a season-high 33 times for 186 yards. "Coach called the play he thought would work."


The play was a designed option, with Livengood and McKenzie both moving to the right, but the Greencastle defense read the play and stopped Livengood in his tracks to force a turnover on downs. With little more than 40 seconds left, the Blue Devils (3-0) were able to run out the clock.

"I thought they would give it to (McKenzie)," Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis said. "Our kids hang in there no matter what. I think if they would have gave it to him, our guys could have stopped him."

Stopping McKenzie proved to be a difficult task for four quarters, even for Greencastle's tough run defense. But what the Blue Devils surrendered on the ground, they made up for in pass defense.

Livengood completed only one pass for 23 yards - which came on the Indians' final drive that eventually stalled - thanks to consistent pressure and good coverage downfield by the Greencastle secondary.

"We just called our offense the way we call it," Waynesboro coach Darwin Seiler said. "This isn't a passing offense, but we'll look at the film and see how we can improve it."

Despite having trouble moving the ball through the air, Waynesboro (0-3) put together a productive first half on offense. The Indians scored on their first series, needing just 2 minutes, 21 seconds to go 68 yards, capped by McKenzie's 44-yard scoring jaunt.

Greencastle answered on the next play from scrimmage. Quarterback Travis Smith hit a wide open Ty Thrush, who turned upfield for a 61-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

"We took momentum from them by coming out and scoring on the next play," Thrush said.

Later in the first quarter, the Blue Devils again stole the momentum from Waynesboro. After an interception set up a 6-yard TD run by Livengood, Greencastle came back with a five-play drive spanning 63 yards, capped by Mike Reid's 24-yard scoring run on a reverse handoff from Conrad Myers, which knotted it at 14-14.

"It was big the way we responded to them in the first half," Tinninis said. "It seemed like everything was clicking for us on offense."

Things continued to go well for the Blue Devils, who took advantage of two Waynesboro fumbles to take a 28-14 lead on touchdown runs by Myers and Thrush to end the half.

Seiler and his coaching staff challenged the Indians at halftime, and it worked. They came out and held the Blue Devils to just 36 yards in the second half - including minus-8 yards in the third quarter - which allowed Waynesboro to creep back in the game.

"We played a good second half, but that's not good enough," said McKenzie. "We have to play a whole game of football. If we can't do that, there's no telling what the season is going to be like."

For Greencastle, Thrush finished with 95 all-purpose yards, while Myers rushed for 62. Smith completed 5 of 12 passes for 109 yards.

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