Juh-Kwquan McCauley rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns and Malik Rucks added two scores on 91 yards as Wilson Memorial cruised to a 41-17 win over Waynesboro in non-district football action in Waynesboro on Friday night.
The win took some of the sparkle from the Little Giants’ Chris Baker’s performance. The freshman quarterback passed for 50 yards and a touchdown and ran for 110 yards and another score in his debut.
Other than Baker, Waynesboro got little offense against the stingy Hornet’s defense.
“Our defense really got after it,” Wilson coach Jeremiah Major said. “They played really hard. We knew that our ends would get a workout tonight against the option and Jed Duh and Joey DiGorga really did what they were supposed to do.”
Duh led the Hornets with 13 tackles — including four for a loss — and he recovered two fumbles and caused another.
“I was just at the right place at the right time,” Duh said. “Coach worked with the ends this week. He knew that Waynesboro was going to try to run outside.”
After stopping Waynesboro on its first possession, Wilson Memorial scored in just three plays with McCauley romping around the end for 80 yards and his first score. Freshman Garret McBee missed the point-after.
But The Little Giants responded with a nine-play, 53-yard drive that resulted in a 35-yard field goal by rookie kicker Zac Becker. An option run by Juan Gray for 40 yards was the key play in the drive.
Wilson then shut the door and took the momentum away with four second-quarter touchdowns as the defense held Waynesboro to negative 11 yards in the frame.
McCauley ran through the middle on a 12-yard score at the 9:57 mark while Rucks added the two-point conversion.
After a three-and-out by Waynesboro followed by a 21-yard punt, Savant Swift added a 23-yard scoring jaunt.
Duh recovered a fumble at the Little Giant’s five yard line on the next Waynesboro series and Rucks dove in on the ensuing play.
After Duh recovered his second fumble, Rucks drove the first nail with another score with 1:57 left in the half. McBee drilled the last three extra points as Wilson led 35-3 at the half.
The Green Hornets outrushed the Little Giants by 200 yards in the first half as they set the tone for the game.
“Wilson’s a good, veteran team,” Waynesboro coach Derek McDaniel said. “We had a couple of breakdowns on that sweep play and Wilson just grabbed the mo[mentum] in the second quarter. That’s their experience showing through.”
Wilson’s Ricky Hanger had nine tackles by halftime, but injured his knee on the kickoff to open the second half and sat the rest of the game.
The Green Hornets were a different team to start the third quarter, losing a couple of fumbles and giving up a Waynesboro touchdown.
The Little Giants made it 35-10 when Baker completed consecutive passes — the second one a seven yard score to Matt Rowe with 7:10 left in the third. Becker booted the point after.
Wilson fumbled on its next possession as Anthony Atkins alertly fell on the loose ball, but the Little Giants failed to capitalize. They took the ball down to Wilson’s 30, but a holding penalty and two tackles for loss ended the threat.
A botched snap gave the ball right back to the Little Giants at the Waynesboro 30. The Little Giants got inside the Wilson 30, but could get no closer and gave up the ball on downs at the visitor’s 34-yard line.
That’s when McCauley took off around the left side and sprinted 66 yards for a touchdown. McBee missed the extra point, but Wilson led 41-10 with 2:34 left in the game.
Waynesboro never gave up as Baker finally got some daylight on an option and took off for a 72-yard score. Becker’s kick cut the lead to 41-17.
“We’ve got to be able to take care of the football,” Major said. “But fumbling is something we can fix. It’s one of those things we can control.”
Caleb May had 11 tackles and Ryan Coffey had 10 to assist Duh as most of the Wilson tackles were at the line.
“Chris is going to be a good quarterback,” McDaniel said. “He has a canon for an arm. But we have some young kids and its going to take some hard work before we do things consistently right.”
Wilson will travel to Robert E. Lee on Friday night while the Little Giants travel to Rockbridge.