Pioneers aim for 3 straight in CSFL debut - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Pioneers aim for 3 straight in CSFL debut

Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

As much as the Wayland Baptist Pioneers welcomed last week's break from competition, a piece of the Pioneers would have just as soon taken the field. After all, the Wayland train has been picking up steam with back-to-back victories, and the Pioneers might have preferred to keep things churning down the track instead of pulling into the station.

But instead of putting on the brakes, Coach Butch Henderson hopes the Pioneers kept the throttle on cruise control and now are ready to move their head of steam into Central States Football League action as Wayland seeks to secure its first three-game winning streak since the program was restarted five years ago.

"If our dream is to win the CSFL, we have to keep things rolling," Henderson said. "We have great momentum going right now, but we have to keep it rolling."

Wayland (3-1) will look to do that in Muskogee, Okla., where the Pioneers take on league-leader Bacone College (2-3 overall, 2-0 CSFL) at 2 p.m. Saturday. Danny Andrews and Jonathan Petty will broadcast the game in Plainview on 1090-AM with audio streaming available at www.network1sports.com/station/plainview.

Bacone leads the CSFL with its 2-0 record, having already knocked off Lyon College at home, 34-21, and Texas College last week in Tyler, 35-26. Wayland also met Lyon in a non-conference game to open the season in Batesville, Ark., winning 37-14.

Bacone opened the season with three straight losses to Missouri University of Science and Tech (62-14), Robert Morris (48-6) and Tennessee-Martin (84-6). Both Robert Morris and Tennessee-Martin are NCAA Division I FCS schools.

Henderson said the Warriors have lots of speed throughout their roster.

"They're explosive on offense. Guys can really run," he said.

Among the runners is junior quarterback Trey Seward (6-2, 200), who has thrown for 885 yards while running for 142 more.

"He does a good job getting the ball out, but also is a good runner," Henderson said. "They haven't run him a lot, but he can run with the football."

So can junior running back Johnny Thomas (5-8, 188), who averages 106 yards rushing per game, and 5.7 per rush, to rank third in the CSFL.

On the receiving end of most of Seward's passes has been junior Antonio Wilson (5-7, 152) with 15 catches for an average of more than 21 yards per grab and four touchdowns. Landon Byrd-Weaver has 14 catches and two TDs.

Henderson said the Warriors "throw the ball more than they run it" and "try to gain leverage with things like trips and overloads," forcing defenses to make adjustments to unusual sets.

Bacone also switches things up defensively.

"They've been moving in and out of two defenses, which makes us have to prepare for both," Henderson said. "They ran a three-man front early in the year but are evolving into a four-man front."

The coach said the move may have to do with getting more speed on the field.

"Their outside guys – ends and linebackers – can really run."

Bacone's top tackler with 37 stops is junior back Eric Brown (5-9, 180).

Henderson said the Warriors don't have any standout performers on defense, but they all play solid and combined to put the conference's No. 2 stopper unit on the field, allowing 352 yards a game. Wayland ranks third at 396 ypg.

"They're one of the better defenses we've played," Henderson said. "I feel like we have to run the football, and as they come up there to stop that be able to throw the ball.

"The offensive line will be the key for us again, and that group has been really strong."

Wayland quarterback Payson Bain returns this week for the first time since being injured early in Wayland's second game of the season, although Henderson said Mitchell Parsley will continue to start. Junior kicker Daniel Martinez is out with a left leg injury and will be replaced by former Pioneer soccer player Renato Dos Anjos.

Wayland and Bacone have met each of the past four seasons, with the Warriors winning three. The Pioneers' lone victory came two years ago in Plainview, 26-14. Bacone won last year, 37-30, in a game that saw 26 fourth-quarter points scored.

The Pioneers tied it at 30 on a 64-yard pass from Bain to Preston Woodard, then forced Bacone's offense into a 3-and-out. But the Warriors returned an interception to the WBU 3-yard line and scored the winning points on the next play with 34 seconds left.

A long kickoff return gave Wayland a chance, but Woodard – on a long pass completion – was swallowed by a host of Warrior defenders at the Bacone 4-yard line as time expired.

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