By ADAM KROEMER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Wawasee couldn’t have written a better script to open its football season.
Clayton Cook started the night by returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, racing through the heart of the field untouched. The Warriors continued with the offense, scoring four touchdowns before halftime and romping to a 42-20 victory over Whitko.
It was a nice gift for first-year Wawasee coach Josh Ekovitch, who knew his players were ready for a game after the ritual of hot preseason practices.
“The kids were excited, and they were ready to hit someone else,” Ekovitch said. “They were ready for the opportunity and they came out of the gate.”
After Cook’s touchdown, the Wawasee offense scored on its first two possessions. After the Warrior defense stopped Whitko on a fourth-down rushing attempt, the offense marched 68 yards in five plays. Quarterback Gage Reinhard connected with Jordan Elliott on a 22-yard play in the drive, then found sophomore Sam Clark sprinting in the clear on a slant pass. Clark outraced the defense 56 yards for the touchdown, and Wawasee led, 14-0.
After a Whitko punt, Wawasee drove 69 yards, as Reinhard completed passes on three consecutive plays. Braxton O’Haver finished the drive with a bull rush into the endzone from the 2, and the Warriors were up 21.
Late in the first half, Wawasee capitalized again, as Dusty Akers pounced on a Whitko fumble on the Wildcat 7-yard line. Brandin McCullough reached the endzone on the next play, and the Warriors were in front, 28-0.