The Waynesville Tigers were in action Friday night in a back and forth game against the Lebanon Yellowjackets. This game affected the Ozark Conference Football standings in a big way.
The Waynesville Tigers were coming off a tough 48-26 point loss to a very good West Plains Zizzer team last Friday night. Waynesville came into the game with a 0-1 record while Lebanon had a 1-0 record with a close win over the Rolla Bulldogs last week.
This week’s game was a celebration of the 2007 Class 5 State Championship season. Many former players and coaches from that team came back. There was a free community tailgate party and a Ford Test Drive event which benefited the Tiger Athletic and Band Booster Club the night before.
Waynesville School District Athletic Director said this about the Thursday celebration earlier in the week, "The 24th is going to be a special night. We are going to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our state championship football team, tell stories and remember that special run the team took us on. Seeing these State Champions come home will help our current Tigers Restore the Roar on the football field. What is great about the 24th is that on top of the celebration our softball and volleyball teams are playing at home, we will have a BBQ and one of our great community sponsors, Sellers Sexton, is organizing a Drive One for Our School. For each test drive of a brand new Ford vehicle at the high school stadium our band and athletic boosters will each receive a $10 donation. Come out, watch some softball, volleyball, celebrate our Tigers and Drive One for Our School."
The Lebanon yellowjackets received the ball to start the game in the first quarter. The Tigers recovered a fumble at the 9:39 mark of the first quarter. The Tigers scored on their second play of the game with an 8 yard touchdown run by Shen Butler-Lawson. Waynesville received the ball at the 6 minute mark. The Tigers later punted the ball to Lebanon after a fourth and long. At the end of the first quarter the Tigers Led the Lebanon Yellowjackets 7-0.
Lebanon's John Berry ran one yard in a touchdown at 11:06 mark to start the second quarter scoring. The two point conversion failed and the Tigers still led the game 7-6. The Tigers later punted the ball with the Yellowjackets recover it at the 49 yard line. Lebanon's Barry scored a touchdown run at 8:42 left in the quarter. The PAT was no good and the Lebanon Yellowjackets Led 12-7.
A face masking call against the Yellowjackets gave Waynesville a first down at their own 49 yard line which would set the Tigers up for good field position in the middle of the second half. The Tigers could not capitalize on it. The ball would bounce around two series between the teams but would return back to the Tigers late in the quarter. David Adams would run in a 15 yard touchdown to give the tigers a 14-12 lead near the end of the first half. The Tigers would recover the ball with 2 seconds left and run the first half out. The Tigers would Keep the 14-12 lead going into halftime.
The members of the 2007 Class 5 State Championship Team were honored on the field during halftime. They all received a piece of the old metal building wall. It was the home of the tigers from the late 1960’s to 2014 when they moved from Slaughter Field to the New Tiger Stadium and sports complex.
David Adams was the key player at the half with his touchdown in the second quarter and several long runs to keep the offensive momentum going.
The Tigers received the ball at their own 41 yard to start the second half. The tigers punted the ball and give it to the Yellowjackets at the nine yard line. Lebanon's J. Ivy scored at the 8:55 mark of the quarter. The two point conversion was good by Berry on a short run. Lebanon took the lead back at 20 to 14.
The Tigers came back and scored on a 93 yard kickoff return touchdown at the 8:43 mark right after the previous lebanon touch down. The PAT kick was good to give the Waynesville Tigers would take the lead again at 21-20. The Tigers prevented a 38 yard touchdown pass at the 6:38 mark of the quarter to regain the ball. The Tigers and Yellow Jackets traded the ball though much of the end of the third quarter. The Lebanon Yellowjackets John Berry scored with 32 seconds left in the quarter. Lebanon got the two point conversion to make the score 28-21. The Tigers will recover an Illegal kickoff and start on the Lebanon 41 yard line with 32 seconds left. The quarter ended with a 28-21 Lebanon lead.
The Tigers started the fourth quarter with 15 yards in three plays to get a first down. Waynesville fumbled the ball at the 10:38 mark and Lebanon recovered. Lebanon's John Berry ran the ball to make a first down at the 50 yard line. Barry scored a nine yard rushing touchdown with 5:23 in the game. The Yellowjackets took a 35-21 point lead in the game. The Tigers received the Kickoff at the 46 yard line with 5:17 left to play.
The Yellow Jackets let their guard down and allowed the Waynesville Tigers back in the game. The Tigers made a multiplay drive of first downs. David Adams threw the ball to John Ray with 3:05 left in the game to connect for a Tiger touchdown. The extra point was good by Choi. That score put the Tigers within seven points at 35-28 in the game.
The Tigers recovered the onside kick to recover the ball with 3:03 left in the game. David Adams made a first down on a 12 yard run. Adams converted a 4-10 down play with a 17 yard run to keep the Tigers alive in the game with 2 minutes left on the clock.
Adams made another 4-15 conversion pass with 1:08 left in the game. With a 3-32 down situation Adams made a completed end zone pass to continue the drive but, the Tigers received a backfield holding penalty which called in the Tigers back.
Lebanon received a personal foul after the same play. The Touchdown did not count as a result of the holding call and the play was redone with a first down from the 28 yard line as a result of the personal foul call.
The Tigers ran out of time after two touchdowns were called back in the final two minutes of the game. They ended the game on a great pass that was just incomplete in the endzone. The Final score of the game was 35-28 after a great finish that, unfortunately, did not go the Waynesville Tigers way Friday night. It was a great finish to the game for both teams of the Ozark Conference.
When asked about the game Head Coach Brad Drehle said, ”I saw our kids grow up tonight. They grew up as individuals and as a team. They played their butts off. I just told a couple of our guys in the locker room I'm not sure they completely understand how big of a moment tonight that was for them to fight and to do that. Not only did they fight, do it and recognize it as a team, but their classmates and our fans recognized that they celebrated the effort as they came off the field, that's the first time that's happened in three years. Thats a huge step for all of our kids and our program. We're excited about the direction we're heading.”
David Adams was the strong leader tonight for the Waynesville Tigers. He finished the game with 12 runs for 42 yards. His Passing stats were 6 passes completed out of 11 with 56 yards in the game. The Tigers finished the game with a combined yardage of 197 total yards. 129 of those were rushing and 68 of those were for passing.
The Lebanon Yellowjackets were led by John Berry. He collected an impressive 366 rushing yards throughout the game. The Yellowjackets had 504 yards of total rushing yards during and amazing game for them.
The Waynesville Tigers will be in action against the Springfield Hillcrest Hornets at Hillcrest High School next Friday September 1st for their second away game of the season. The Hornets are coming off a win over the Class 5 #6 State Ranked Springfield Glendale Falcons Friday.
Box Score provided by Assistant Football Coach Patrick Knipe
WHS Shen Butler-Lawson 8yd TD Run (Aaron Choi xp) 7-0 WHS
LHS J.Berry 1yd TD Run (2pt no good) 7-6 WHS
LHS J.Berry 1yd TD Run (2pt no good) 12-7 LHS
WHS David Adams 15yd TD Run (Aaron Choi xp) 14-12 WHS
LHS J.Ivy 15yd TD Run (Berry 2pt good) 20-14 LHS
WHS Shen Butler-Lawson 83yd KO Return TD (Choi xp) 21-20 WHS
LHS J.Berry 1yd TD Run (Berry 2pt Good) 28-21 LHS
LHS J.Berry 9yd TD Run (Xp good) 35-21 LHS
WHS David Adams to John Rae 4yd TD Pass (Choi xp) 35-28 LHS