Eagles’ 25 Regular-Season Winning Streak Ends
Magnolia’s stronghold on 25 consecutive regular-season wins came to an abrupt halt in Ripley Aug. 27, as pre-season favorite Wayne scored a 66-30 victory over the 2010 Class-AA football state champions. Wayne rushed for 457-yards on 49 carries, including 213-yards and five touchdowns by their Kennedy Award candidate Brandon Spurlock.
Wayne won the toss and elected to receive. When Magnolia’s kick went out of bounds, Wayne started its first series at the 35 yard line. The Eagles’ Jayson Keller stopped the Pioneer running game cold with a nice tackle. But, in two more rushes for five or more yards, Wayne moved the chains for the first of 21 times. A few plays later, Wayne crossed the goal line for the first of nine touchdowns. However, the Blue Eagles’ Zach Arrick halted the Pioneer quest for the two-point conversion attempt.
Magnolia’s Stephen Rogalski — with an ankle injured in the pre-season — returned the kick 61 yards to give Magnolia good field position. Keller rambled 12 yards on his first touch, and Magnolia was on the move. However, a few plays later, Blue Eagle quarterback Tanner Hanna was picked off in the end zone on a nice defensive effort by Wayne.
On the Pioneers second offensive series, Brandon Clegg of Magnolia made a nice defensive tackle for a seven-yard loss that helped force a Wayne punt. However, the snap went over the Wayne punters head and Magnolia stopped him short on the scramble.
With great field position, Magnolia would go four and out and give the ball back to Wayne. On the first play from scrimmage, the Pioneer quarterback scrambled for a nifty 71-yard TD run, and with the two point conversion, Wayne had a quick 14-0 lead.
After the ensuing kick, Hanna hit Rogalski on a nice 40-yard pitch and catch and then connected with Chuck McElaney on 30-yard TD strike to finish drive. Blue Eagle Michael Jones split the uprights to cut the deficit in half, 14-7, with nine ticks remaining in the first quarter of play.
After the kick, Wayne rushed for 27 yards to end the opening period. Two more first down runs had Wayne itching for more. But, the Eagles’ Kage Rohde stopped the Pioneer runner and Keller stopped Wayne with a tackle in the backfield. However, on the very next play, Wayne took it to the house on a seven-yard TD run to push the score to 22-7 in the second period.
After a one-yard loss, Keller went wildcat and to pick up a much-needed first down. On third and long, Hanna connected with Rogalski, who made a circus catch to move the chains. Rogalski jumped high in the air for another long gainer to move the chains once more. Keller rushed for nine yards and moved the chains on the next carry. Keller picked up another first down on a nice scramble before Hanna and Gage Deem hooked up for a Magnolia score that narrowed the gap to 22-14 after another Jones PAT.
The second half wasn’t kind to for Magnolia. Following the second-half kick, Magnolia went backward from the 28 yard line on penalties and Pioneer backfield tackles, forcing the Blue to punt from the end zone.
Wayne scored on the first play from scrimmage, a 20-yard run for a 30-14 advantage. After the ensuing kick, Magnolia moved the ball and picked up a pair of first downs.
Wayne helped the Eagles out with a facemask penalty, after holding Magnolia on a third and long that gave Magnolia new life.
Rogalski made another unbelievable 30-yard catch to give Magnolia a first down at the three yard line. Hanna rewarded Rogalski — the 2010 OVAC Sophomore of the Year — with a nice pitch and catch to pull Magnolia to within eight points after a Hanna-to-Rogalski conversion with only six minutes remaining in the third period.
Wayne quickly answered with a long drive that ended with a one-yard TD run. However, Magnolia held the Ripley turf firm and stopped the two-point conversion attempt with .42 seconds remaining.
After a short kick, the Pioneers got a turnover and got it deep into Blue Eagle territory before the third period ended. On the first play of the fourth period, Wayne scored another goal. Rogalski finished the Eagle scoring with an 88 yard TD kick return. Wayne added three more scores to end the game with a 66-30 victory.
Last season, Rogalski caught 64 passes for 1,386-yards and 17 touchdowns. He added seven more catches for 131 yards and a score in the first game of the 2011 season. He also added an 88-yard kick return for a touchdown and accumulated 328 all-purpose yards. Keller picked up 52 tough yards while McElaney and Deem each caught a TD pass from Hanna.
Hanna completed 9-18 passes for 150 yards and three TDs, and had one interception. Magnolia lost two fumbles and committed four penalties for 45 yards.
Defensively, the Eagles were led by Jayson Keller with 13 tackles, followed by Rohde with 12. Ryan Walton added 11 and Nick Blatt, Deem, Arrick and Drew Keller each brought down six Pioneers. Drew Keller had several tackles for loss of yardage, while Blatt had one. Ryan Richmond had the only sack for Magnolia.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Blue and Gold. On Sept 2, they will travel to Williamstown to take on the Yellowjackets, who beat Tyler Consolidated 50-0 in the season opener for both teams. That game gets underway at 7:30 p.m.