WAYNE, W.Va. -- It's strange to think of a regular-season conference game as a dress rehearsal, but Wayne's 64-36 victory over Chapmanville felt like just that.
Sure, the two-time defending Class AA champion Pioneers (9-0) wrapped up their second straight Cardinal Conference championship with the win, as well as their 32nd consecutive overall victory, but a big Week 11 showdown with Class AA No. 1 Bluefield was on the back of just about everyone's mind at Pioneer Field Friday.
Regardless, Wayne asserted its dominance early and often over the Tigers en route to the win. In fact, it took just 16 seconds for Cody Stiltner to open up the scoring with a 57-yard sprint on a jet sweep on the game's opening play.
The rising sophomore racked up four touchdowns -- two on the ground and two in the air. Stiltner tallied 220 all-purpose yards, 138 of which came on the ground on just four carries.
"Kids don't talk about [Bluefield], but you just hear it so much,'' Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. "We didn't overlook it by any means but you have to take care of this first.
"It's important to come out and take care of business when you're better than your opponent. We didn't mess around too long. We went out there and did what we were supposed to fast. It was good to get all this stuff out of our system before we go on to the game that everyone wants to talk about."
Wayne extended the lead on the second possession when Grant Ferguson connected with Kurt Langdon-Arthur for a 26-yard score on a post corner route to make it 12-0. Fullback Steven Perry capped off the first quarter scoring on a 13-yard jaunt with 41 seconds left to push the lead to 18-0.
Chapmanville (5-5) answered with a 3-yard scoring run by Paul Workman early in the second quarter to slice the lead to 18-6. However, Wayne reeled off 20 unanswered to close out the opening half and open up a commanding 38-6 cushion.
Although the outcome was never in doubt, the second half did provide plenty of fireworks, as Chapmanville was able to cut the lead to 44-30 early in the fourth quarter against Wayne's reserves after a pair of touchdown passes from Alex Berry.
Berry connected with Devin Wiley from 46 yards out first. After recovering an onside kick, Berry found Brady Cox on a 39-yard post route to draw within two scores. However, the Pioneer starters returned with a furious 20-point scoring outburst to open the lead back up to 64-30 later in the stanza. Berry was a bright spot for the Tigers, completing 20 of 30 passes for 277 yards and four scores.
With the loss, Chapmanville (5-5) will require some help to make the AA playoffs.