The Waynesville High School football team opened their season on Friday night against the West Plains Zizzers and did not disappoint the home crowd as the Tigers were able to hold on for a 26-21 victory.

“Our defense, I have to give them a lot of credit,” said head coach Rick Vernon. “We gave them one long run. They got a little passing on us and put us in some tough situations all night long and they really didn't give anything up.”

Waynesville would win the toss and get the ball first, starting from their own 46 and less than two minutes later the Tigers would be up 7-0, after a 22 yard run from senior Warren Womack.

West Plains though would strike back and strike back quickly as Derek Skinner would take the first play that West Plains ran from scrimmage and go 76 yards for the tieing touchdown just 15 seconds after Waynesville scored.

“This was a good first game,” said Vernon. “It was a good conference game and it is going to be like this all year long. West Plains plays very hard and they do some really, really good things.”

The first quarter would end with both teams deadlocked at 7-7 and that tie would continue until almost the half way mark of the second quarter before Womack would again take the ball and run it in, this time from 25 yards out to give Waynesville a 14-7 lead with 7:14 to go until halftime.

West Plains though would again come back, scoring with just 48 seconds to go in the half, as Jacob Mitchell would hit Skinner with a seven yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 14-14.

Neither team would score in the third quarter and the teams would enter the fourth quarter tied at 14-14 but with 10:24 to go in the game Womack would score his third touchdown of the game scampering in from six yards out to give Waynesville the 20-15 lead.

West Plains though would not be denied and would go 60 yards f and take the lead on an eight yard touchdown run from Jay Turner, 21-20 with 7:09 to go in the game.

The teams would trade the ball back and forth for the remainder of the fourth quarter and with just under a minute to go and Waynesville's back against the wall, Dylan Newcomb would hit Varon Martinez for a 36 yard gain to take the ball to the West Plains eight yard line.

One play later Newcomb would punch it in and Waynesville would be up 26-21 with 24 seconds to go. West Plains would try to run the length of the field but would run out of time and Waynesville would secure the victory.

“We got our running game going but we have to do some things so that people can't just sit in there on us and stop it,” said Vernon

Waynesville would rush for 274 yards on the night and four touchdowns and Newcomb would go 5-11 for 61 yards.

Waynesville will travel to Lebanon on Friday, both teams are 1-0 on the season as Lebanon beat Rolla 28-12 on Friday night.