Waynesboro suffered its sixth straight loss Friday night in a 43-0 shutout to visiting Harrisonburg.
“A lot of these guys are just learning the game of football,” Waynesboro coach Shawn Moran said. “We’re thin, and football is a numbers game.”
The Little Giants are still without starting quarterback Ethan Burch, who suffered a concussion at Waynesboro’s last game against Fluvanna County two weeks ago. It’s unlikely Burch will suit up for the Little Giants again this season, leaving freshman Adam Jackson to fill the position, Moran said.
“[Adam] is going to be a good football player,” Moran said. “For the first time going in, I thought he played pretty well at this level. That kid played little league last year, and he just started in a varsity football game. I bet you can’t find too many people who can say they’ve done that.”
In fact, after having to cut the JV football program this year because of a lack of players, Waynesboro’s varsity roster consists of mostly freshmen and sophomores.
The Blue Streaks, who boast a majority of upperclassmen on their roster, quickly overtook the Little Giants. A Waynesboro turnover on the 26-yard line with just under 10 minutes in the first quarter put Harrisonburg in a position to score. Blue Streaks quarterback Keenan Glago connected with Trevyon Jackson for a 21-yard pass putting Harrisonburg up 7-0 with the extra point.
The Blue Streaks continued to dominate offensively in the first quarter. Glago handed off to sophomore Khylik Smiley for the team’s second touchdown of the night, followed shortly thereafter by another touchdown from Jackson. Harrisonburg saw a 29-0 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Harrisonburg’s momentum carried into the second quarter after Smiley scored just 20 seconds in. With the conversion, the Little Giants now saw themselves down 36-0. Although Waynesboro’s Jamez Bolden recovered a fumble later in the second quarter, Harrisonburg’s Smiley returned a punt for a 62-yard touchdown — the last time the team would see the back of the end zone.
Moran said a lot of Waynesboro’s errors can be attributed to the team’s inexperience.
“We just have issues with consistency,” he said. “We have a hard time in practice simulating what they’re going to see out here. There’s no substitute for what they’re going to see out here. It’s kind of like learning on the job.”
Waynesboro hits the road next Friday to face Rockbridge County, one of their four remaining games this season.
“It’s a huge challenge every Friday,” Moran said. “At the end of the day, they’re freshman.”
Winless at 0-6, the Little Giants are just hoping to make it through the season and continue learning, Moran said.
“I have a lot of respect for them because I know what they’re up against,” Moran said of his players. “They have really good attitudes about what they’re doing, they practice well and I think from what I see day in and day out, it’s a huge success for them to come out here and compete.”