WAYNE — Two lightning-quick touchdown drives from a grind-it-out team can be the difference in a close game.
That was the case Friday night, when Wayne used a pair of quick first-half scoring drives to build a 22-point halftime lead, then held off visiting Chapmanville 28-14 at chilly Pioneer Field.
Ethan Bowens scored on a 27-yard run on the fourth play from scrimmage after running for 25 yards on the second play of the game. With 1:59 left before half and Wayne out of timeouts, Bowens scored on a 47-yard burst up the middle on the first play following a Tiger punt, proving to be the difference for the Pioneers (2-3).
Bowens ran for 148 yards and two scores in the win, but Chapmanville (1-2) did not go down without a fight.
The Tigers’ Brody Dalton hit Preston Smith on a pair of touchdowns, the first from 17 yards out, the second from 24, that cut Wayne’s lead to 22-14 in the third quarter.
The Pioneers had the answer, grinding out yards on the ground on the ensuing possession. Levi Gilkerson scored on the opening play of the fourth quarter on a 19-yard run, which set the final score.
The Tigers were threatening again early in the fourth quarter, but Dalton’s fourth-down pass to the end zone was tipped then picked off by Wayne’s Jake Merritt.
Preston Childs added 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Pioneers chewed up 311 yards rushing.
Dalton finished 13 of 25 passing for 152 yards. Smith had six catches for 90 yards for the Tigers.
Wayne outgained Chapmanville 333-311 on the night.