Though the Pioneers ran for 364 yards on 49 carries -- 226 in the first half -- coach Tom Harmon said the match-up with Hoover provided his offense an opportunity to show more of its diversity.
"We got some guys who can catch. We've got one out who can catch, but we've got guys, and Grant's a good player," Harmon said. "It's one of the opportunities you get when you've got all those pieces. We're not scared to throw it, it's just a matter of calling on it when it's needed."
Down 21-0 in the second quarter, Hoover mounted an impressive drive of its own that covered 65 yards and chewed up 5:17. The Huskies got on the board when quarterback Tyler Americo lunged into the end zone from 2 yards out with 6:43 left in the half.
It was the only sustained drive Hoover would enjoy against Wayne's defensive starters. The Huskies kept their starters in through the final gun, and were led by Shaun Dotson's 86 rushing yards on 10 carries.
"The kids played hard the whole game. We got some things clicking on that drive, but they made adjustments. It's tough," Hoover coach Tim Meyer said.
The hope inspired by Americo's score didn't last long. It lasted just 12 seconds of game time, in fact. Stiltner returned the ensuing kickoff to the Hoover 36, and Ferguson took a quarterback draw for a run that covered the remaining distance to push Wayne's lead to 27-6.
The Class AA all-state quarterback from 2012, Ferguson said his increased passing production in the game was the result of Hoover's defensive scheme.
"We like to have an offense where we can run or throw. It makes us more balanced," Ferguson said. "We came out and they were in the box, so we knew we could throw on them right off the bat, so that's what we did."
Ferguson added 56 rushing yards to his passing total, as Hodge led the Pioneers with 86 yards on six carries. Stiltner ran for 48 yards and caught five passes for 66.