WAYNE, W.Va. -- Perhaps no other football program in the state of West Virginia epitomizes the "next man up" philosophy quite like the Wayne Pioneers.
With two-year starting quarterback Grant Ferguson on the shelf due to an ankle injury, the Pioneers rode the legs of their experienced backfield to the tune of 472 yards on the ground en route to a grinding 53-25 win over Philip Barbour in the opening round of the Class AA playoffs Friday night.
With Ferguson out, junior Nate Adkins stepped in to fill the void at quarterback. However, conditions on a muddy Pioneer Field were not favorable for throwing the ball, which suited Wayne's philosophy just fine.
Three Wayne running backs topped the century mark, and the offense churned out a whopping 29 first downs. Cody Stiltner led all rushers with 117 yards on just five carries. Nathan Spurlock and Mason Hodge and Nathan Spurlock also hit triple digits with 105 and 104 yards, respectively.
Stiltner continued his late-season scoring frenzy by tallying three times.
The sophomore wingback scored on a jet sweep from 27 yards out on Wayne's second offensive possession to open up the scoring with 7:28 to go in the first quarter. Following touchdown runs by Steven Perry and Spurlock midway through the second quarter, Stiltner scored from the exact same distance on the same play to extend the Pioneer lead to 26-0 with just 1:22 left in the first half.
Philip Barbour (6-5) would answer quickly on its next possession, as Tyler Tinchnell connected with Andre Johnson on a go route to cut the Pioneer lead to 26-6 at halftime.
For all of Stiltner's contributions offensively, it was his third TD -- this time from the defensive side -- that ended any glimmer of hope for Philip Barbour.