It was over almost as soon as it started.
Wayne Christian opened in blistering fashion on Thursday evening against Lawrence Academy, scoring 30 points in the last five minutes of the first quarter. The Eagles ended up flying over the Warriors 66-6.
The triumph moved the Eagles to 6-3 overall. Wayne Christian will also finish the regular season with a perfect 5-0 record in Colonial Carolina Conference play.
The Eagles, who recently clinched the first conference title in program history, will now look forward to hosting a playoff game for the first time in program history.
The significance of the Eagles’ achievements this season is not lost on Wayne Christian head coach Luis Miranda or the seniors, who celebrated senior night with a big win.
“It’s a great group of boys. We have 12 seniors on our team, and I’ve been challenging them all year that this is their team,” Miranda said. “For several of them, it’s their third season. So, they remember that first game that we played against Grace Christian and lost 50-6, and we still talk about that game because we don’t want to feel that way again.
“Wayne Christian is establishing itself as predominant football school not just in Wayne County, but in eastern North Carolina.”
Lawrence Academy started off the game at its own 42-yard line and started to move down the field, but the drive stalled at the Eagles’ 27-yard line.
The Warriors’ drive took up over six minutes, but the Eagles had no trouble making up for the lost time.
On their first offensive play of the game, the Eagles’ Michael Mills broke loose for a 62-yard touchdown run.
Lawrence Academy punted on the ensuing possession, but the punt was blocked, and Oliver Thomas picked up the ball and returned it to the house.
“Oliver scored his first touchdown of the year, and that was a big moment for us,” Miranda said.
On the Eagles’ next two possessions, Camden Shuster threw touchdown passes to Jayquan Carry and Duke Williams, and when the dust finally settled at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles had a 30-0 lead.
“I think it goes to show you the type of team we can be,” Miranda said. “This team is used to fighting back, and they don’t get down when there’s a bad play or a bad drive.
“They know how to bounce back and focus for the full 48 minutes.”
In the second quarter, Maddox Johnson had a four-yard touchdown run, while Shuster threw three more touchdowns to Curry as the Eagles led 50-0 at halftime.
“Our quarterback might have finished perfect on the night. He didn’t have any big throws, but it was about executing those outside throws and bubble screens,” Miranda said.
With the running clock in the second half, the Eagles still found time to make big plays.
Shuster threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Curry, and Caleb Bass had an eight-yard touchdown. Lawrence Academy managed to tack on a touchdown on the last play of the game.
The seeding meeting for N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association DII eight-man football playoffs are on Saturday, but Wayne Christian is guaranteed to host its first home playoff game on Thursday.
“It’s not about who we’re playing because we have bigger goals,” Miranda said. “It’s not just about winning this game or next winning next week, but ultimately it’s about winning a state championship.”