By Mike Deak
SYRACUSE – Wawasee Unified Flag Football head coach Andrew Wilson made mention during the week that he wished he had some advanced scouting done on regional opponent Fort Wayne Carroll.
The tape wouldn’t have been enough to ground the high-flying Chargers.
Carroll completed three long touchdown passes in an aerial assault Wawasee couldn’t match in a 34-21 Charger win in the Wawasee UFF Regional semi-finals Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field.
A pair of bombs from Logan Smith to Ari Segovia and Zander Sauder both went over the Wawasee defense for scores, and Smith also landed under another bomb from Joel Ledger. Smith’s touchdown catch put Carroll up 20 in the second half in an overwhelming show of offensive consistency that had the Chargers score five times in its first six possessions.
“That was by far the most athletic team I’ve seen,” said Wawasee head coach Andrew Wilson. “They were very skilled, and a scouting report would have been nice, but I don’t think that would have helped much. They were a very good team.”
Ledger also hauled in a touchdown pass to open the scoring and Al Macon added a score. Ashlyn Lingg pulled down three extra point conversions for the Chargers.
Wawasee kept pace for the most part early in the first half, using a pair of hookups from Josh Metcalf to Jaiden Nesmith. Konner Potts added a two-point catch, which had Wawasee down just 21-14 midway through the first half.
Potts would add the final touchdown and conversion for the Warriors with 3:20 to go in the game.
“I just kept telling my boys that you have to control what you can control, and with our offense, we were going to run it how we wanted to run it, that’s how we felt most comfortable,” Wilson said. “We weren’t going to let the other team dictate what we wanted to do.”
Wilson then went into his team’s season in general, which included its first-ever UFF sectional title it the sport’s third season, and just two losses overall.
“We’re really excited for this team,” noted Wilson. “There was a buzz around the school this week. Varsity football were hootin’ and hollerin’ this morning at our walk through. They were excited for us. Our administration really backs our program, that helps us, builds excitement for the sport and helps us grow as a sport. You win a sectional championship, that will hopefully get people to want to play next year.”
Carroll then waited for the other semi-final to finish, which a 36-8 Manchester lead at the half over Valparaiso on the other half of the turf turned into a 60-40 shootout in favor of the Squires.
Carroll and Manchester would continue to score at will in the regional championship, but it was Carroll who had one more point in its arsenal in a wild 51-50 regional championship. The Chargers advance to the IHSAA State Championship next weekend in Indianapolis to face McCutcheon, which won its regional, 45-38, over Mooresville.