Nanih Waiya eliminated from MHSAA Playoffs

By Austin Bishop

The Winston County Journal


Injuries have played a big role in Nanih Waiya’s football season, so there was no reason for that to change on Friday night.

Beginning with a season-ending neck injury to starting tailback Ken McQueen in August and culminating with injuries to current running back Jamarlo Smith and tight end Wyatt Ball last week, the Warriors have lost seven players during the course of the season.

Nanih Waiya still managed to finish the season at 7-5 and earn a spot in the MHSAA Class 1A State Football Playoffs by finishing fourth in Region 3-1A with a 5-3 league record. Among those wins was a dramatic 20-14 overtime victory over archrival and Region 3-1A winner Noxapater.

On Friday night the defending Class 1A State Champion Stringer Red Devils were just too much for the Warriors as they scored 33 first-half points on the way to a 40-0 win.

Stringer quarterback Tevan Moore did most of the damage for the Red Devils, rushing for 210 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.

“Most of their touchdowns were on long plays,” said NW head coach Tate Hanna. “We would play real well on defense and stop them two or three times and then they would get outside on us and break a long one.”

The Warriors had some scoring opportunities, moving twice inside the 5-yard line, once turning it over on downs and the other on an interception. Another NW drive deep into Stringer territory was halted due to a penalty.

Dylan Dent led the Warriors in rushing with 59 yards on nine carries, while Ball hit on 5-of-12 passes for 65 yards. Isaiah Eiland had two catches for 39 yards, Peyton Jones two for 21 and Garrett Miles one for five.

Ball and Aaron Ellinburg recorded six tackles each for the Warriors, while Marcellous Grady had five.