Archer quarterback Dillon Waye is finally healthy and so is the team’s offense. When you combine that with the team’s already solid defense, positive results are likely to follow.
The junior threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more on Friday night in a 42-0 romp over Newton.
Waye began the season sidelined due to an injury. He finally got back in the lineup for the last game and began to look his old self against Newton, much to the Rams’ dismay. Waye completed 15 of 26 passes for 146 yards and also ran five times for 22 yards.
“The guys around him played really well, too,” coach Andy Dyer said. “The quarterback can’t do it all by himself. The guys around him have to play well and they did tonight.”
Tailback Keegan Strickland ran 14 times for 75 yards and one touchdown and caught two passes for 18 yards and one score. Braylen Weems had three receptions for 45 yards.
Waye said, “The defense did a great job giving us some short fields”
Archer improved to 2-4, 1-0 in Region 8-AAAAAAA. Newton fell to 4-2-1, 1-1 in the region.
Archer’s defense was its typical outstanding self. The aggressive Tigers never gave quarterback Blake Brock a chance to breathe. Brock, starting in place of injured Myron Middlebrooks, threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Archer limited Newton to 15 yards rushing and 48 yards passing.
“That’s what we do on defense is try to pressure the quarterback,” Dyer said. “Anytime you ca do that, it makes for a long night for the opponent.”
The Tigers broke through for 35 points in the second quarter and led 35-0 at halftime.
Waye opened the scoring by connecting with Keegan Strickland on a screen pass that resulted in an 8-yard touchdown.
Archer’s second touchdown was set up by Taiyon Palmer 45-yard punt return to the Newton 8. Waye scored on the first play on a keeper to make it 14-0.
“That punt return was big,” Dyer said. “It gave us another short field.”
The barrage continued after Newton fumbled on its first play and Braylen Weems recovered for Archer at the 10. Waye hooked up with Malik Sproles for an 8-yard touchdown pass to up the lead to 21-0.
Newton kept the ball for two plays the next time. Blake Brock had a pass intercepted by Andrew Booth at the 43.
This time it took the Tigers three plays to score, with Strickland darting through the defense for an 8-yard touchdown.
Newton gave Archer another gift on its next possession. After being forced to punt, the snap was high and bobbled and resulted in Archer taking over at the 8. Although backed up by a holding penalty, Daye was able to find Jelani Baker for a 17-yard touchdown.
Newton had a chance to score at the end of the half but Weems came down with an interception in the end zone
Archer wasn’t nearly as effective in the second half. Wayne was picked off twice, by Jason Taylor and Deonta Clark, but did score a late touchdown on a 6-yard run.
“Each week brings a different challenge,” Dyer said. “Now it’s time for us to focus on what we did well tonight and continue to get better. That’s the hard part of coaching, to get them to understand that.”