NEWCASTLE — Josh Way and a suffocating defense has the Wayne Bulldogs one win away from the school's first state football championship.
Way, the Bulldogs' brilliant senior running back, rushed for 262 yards on 19 carries and scored five touchdowns Friday night as Wayne rolled over Carnegie 52-6 in Class A semifinals at Newcastle High School.
“I've surprised myself a lot,” said Way, who scored on touchdown runs of one, 39, 69, and 60 yards, plus returning a kickoff 85 yards for another score.
His play no longer surprises Wayne head coach Brandon Sharp.
“Josh is a fabulous player,” Sharp said. “We knew if we were going to win, we needed to give him the ball. Each week, he comes out and produces around 200 yards. We figure if he is running hard and motivated, he is hard to stop. We feel like we've got a really good offensive line and that is a good combination for us.”
Wayne amassed 418 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs only passed the ball four times in the game, but three were for touchdowns.
Bulldog quarterback Sam Martin tossed a 49-yard scoring strike to running back David Davenport, an 85-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ryan Welch and a 23-yard scoring toss to running back Louden Johnson.
“We average about three passes a game,” Sharp said. “Sam made some really good decisions tonight and was throwing the ball well.”
Martin also carried the ball 11 times for 105 yards in addition to his three touchdown passes.
The Bulldogs bolted to a 24-0 advantage and led 38-6 at halftime. Way rushed for 162 yards in the third quarter alone and sat out the fourth.
“Four years ago, we were 2-8,” Sharp said. “We've had a big turnaround. The community is jacked right now and excited about everything that is going on.”
Wayne (13-1) will face defending state champion Woodland, a 32-7 winner over Thomas in the other Class A semifinal Friday night in Enid.
“It is an honor playing for this team,” Way said. “We worked hard from Week 1, and this has been our main goal from the beginning. This is the biggest stage we've played on. Hopefully, we can have a showdown with (Woodland) and pull off that win and be state champions.”