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  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Wayne is looking for redemption after being penalized 18 times in a loss to Bishop Dwenger. “We feel like we gave the game away in Week 1,” Generals coach Derrick Moore says.

Friday, November 03, 2017 1:00 am

Wayne showing character with sectional on line

GREG JONES | The Journal Gazette

Sectional finals

Today

(Games at 7 p.m. unless noted)

Class 6A

Sectional 2

Warsaw at Penn

Sectional 3

Carroll at Snider

Class 4A

Sectional 19

Angola at Culver Academy, 7:30 p.m.

Sectional 20

Wayne vs. Bishop Dwenger

Class 3A

Sectional 28

Concordia at Bishop Luers

Class 2A

Sectional 34

Central Noble at Woodlan

Class A

Sectional 43

Southwood at Adams Central

Wayne certainly showed some versatility, adaptability and most of all some inner strength in winning its first two sectional games. 

The Generals (5-6) had lost four straight to end the regular season, but have beaten Columbia City and Jay County to set up a sectional championship showdown tonight against SAC rival Bishop Dwenger (8-3) at Zollner Stadium. 

The route through the postseason so far has not, however, looked remotely the same through two games.

Wayne clicked on offense in beating the Eagles 62-20 in a sectional opener and then last week it needed a late Bailey Salary field goal to oust the Patriots 9-6. 

“They are teenagers; that's what it says,” Wayne coach Derrick Moore said. “They are 14-18-year-old kids. They are teenagers, and they are unpredictable at times. We played a great game against Columbia City, not to say we didn't play a great game against Jay County, but the result looked different. When you score 62, the city expects you to become the New England Patriots.”

Two weeks ago, Devonair Kelsaw ran for 324 yards and six touchdowns against Columbia City. But Kelsaw, along with defensive tackle Robert Roth, were on the sidelines against Jay County because of violations of team rules. Quarterback Brandan Young joined them out on the sideline in the first quarter with a hand injury. 

Still, the Generals moved some pieces around and overcame Jay County's ball-control offensive approach and some inclement weather to put themselves in a sectional title game for the first time since 2009. 

“To win like we did against Jay County showed a lot of character,” Moore said. “We have grown since Week 1. Our kids didn't fold. Those who have been around the program since we arrived here know that was a great victory for us.”

It's a good sign for the program, with Moore in his third year. 

“It's the third year now, and we want to start playing for championships,” said Moore, who went 2-8 and 0-10 in his first two years. “We've learned to fight; we've learned to compete. They are definitely learning the game, so in the process this is exactly where we wanted to be.”

The playing status of Rowles, Young and Kelsaw was still in doubt this week, but Moore said he still likes the Generals' chances in the rematch with the Saints.

“We have to go with whoever we have (available) Friday night because Dwenger is not going to feel sorry for us, and we have to go out there and try to win a sectional championship,” Moore said.

Dwenger beat Wayne 27-12 in the season opener, as the Generals hurt themselves with 18 penalties.

“There is motivation,” Moore said of playing Dwenger again. “We feel like we gave the game away in Week 1. We would definitely like to have that game over again. It was one we circled that got away from us. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Greg Jones is the assistant sports editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in Fort Wayne since 1998. He can be reached by email at gjones@jg.net; phone, 461-8224; or fax, 461-8648.