Prep football: Spurlock, Wayne rolling foes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Before Wayne played Sissonville last Friday night, the partisan crowd stood and recited the Lord's Prayer to protest a ruling that declared schools cannot offer prayer before games.
The way the Pioneers are playing, opponents might be saying a few prayers of their own when they have to face the top-ranked team in Class AA.
Wayne steamrolled Sissonville for a 42-0 win at Joe Sawyers Field to remain unbeaten. Each contest has been a blowout victory for the Pioneers (4-0).
The defending state champs were coming off a school-record 84 points in a win over Ravenswood the week prior and the closest margin of victory has been 39 in a 46-7 victory over Herbert Hoover on Sept. 7.
"We are rolling and doing our thing," Wayne senior running back Brandon Spurlock said. "We are just having fun and winning games. We won states last year and it was amazing. It's great because we have about the same people back."
The victory was the 13th straight for Wayne, which is the longest streak in the state after Class AAA No. 2 Martinsburg saw its 32-game winning streak come to an end in a 36-33 loss at Westminster (Md.) last Friday.
While all the routs this season have been good for Wayne, it's bad news for individual statistics because the starting unit has seen limited playing time in the second half.
The key recipient in losing carries and added stats is Spurlock, a 5-foot-7, 180-pound running back for the Pioneers.
The 2011 Class AA All-State first-team selection put up huge numbers in the first half against Sissonville, rushing for 157 yards on just 14 carries and four touchdowns before playing one series in the second half.
In fact, Spurlock has played in just two offensive series in the second half all season. He had only one second-half carry this season before Friday and doubled that, running for 50 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run after halftime.
"I want to play the whole game but blowing people is fun," Spurlock said. "It shows how good we are as a team. It has been difficult because it's my senior year and I want to play as much as possible. But we are winning, and that's all that matters."
Pioneers Coach Tom Harmon wants his star out there as much as possible, but understands the situation.
"We are playing at a really high level and it's one of those things you can't expect to score all those points every week," Harmon said. "It hurts the numbers for our guys in the second half, but we aren't in the business of embarrassing people."
Spurlock has made the most of his limited touches this season, rushing for 532 yards on 36 carries and seven touchdowns. Last season, Spurlock rushed for 1,698 yards and 33 touchdowns.
In a way, Harmon feels bad for his standout running back in getting the recognition he feels he clearly deserves.
"It's really bad for people who are stat hawks and MaxPreps geeks and only make their decisions based on what they read in the newspaper," Harmon said. "Brandon isn't the type of kid you're going to read about being in an Under Armour combine or in USA Today.
"The great part about Brandon, though, is he doesn't care. He just plays and when he's called upon, he tries as good as he can. Teams know when he has the ball. He is deserving of any honor he can get and I wouldn't trade him for anybody."
Spurlock knows it hurts his chances for big honors such as the Kennedy Award, given annually to the state's best player, but he's playing for an even bigger prize.
"I'd love to get the Kennedy but I think about the next level," he said. "The award would be a step toward that. I just want to play college ball more than anything, even if it's at the (Division II) level.
"My dream place would be Marshall," Spurlock said. "It's local, and it's (Division I). I know I'd be a little fish in a big pond. I just want to play football forever. It's what I love the most and all I think about."