WAYNESBORO — It took longer than anyone at Broadway had hoped for Danny Grogg to get his first victory as the Gobblers coach.
But after leaving Waynesboro with a 35-24 Valley District win to close out his debut season, optimism for 2020 was alive for a team that brings back several key players.
At the head of Broadway’s youth movement was sophomore quarterback Landen Stuhlmiller, who capped his season with 218 yards passing to go along with 107 on the ground and five total touchdowns without an interception.
Stuhlmiller has also played key roles in the defensive backfield and in the return game for the Gobblers this season.
“Landen is a dynamic player,” Grogg said. “It’s hard to bring him off the field. As athletic as he is and as football savvy he is, it’s tough to bring him off the field. He did a great job in all three phases tonight.”
While Stuhlmiller and senior wide receiver David Thew helped Broadway build a 35-8 lead during an electric third quarter that saw the duo hook up for a pair of long touchdown passes, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Broadway.
With each team looking to avoid a winless season, it wasn’t a pretty start for either bunch as temperatures hit the freezing mark at game time.
The Little Giants and Gobblers exchanged lost fumbles on the first two plays from scrimmage and neither team could get much of anything going offensively most of the first half.
Broadway finally managed to gain some momentum late in the second quarter. Trailing 2-0 after a high snap sailed over the head of Stuhlmiller for a safety, he broke loose for a 22-yard scramble on the next possession.
Stuhlmilller followed that up with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Thew, who finished with four catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns, for the first offensive score of the night to put the Gobblers ahead 7-2 at halftime.
“We had some hiccups there in the first half,” Stuhlmiller said. “I came in the locker room and I said we had to fix this. We were the better football team, we knew that. A lot of respect to Waynesboro. They are 19 strong and still out here playing, but this was a great way to end the year.”
Thew’s second scoring grab opened the second half and went for 55 yards as Broadway finally made it a two-score advantage less than 30 seconds into the third quarter.
Waynesboro cut into the big lead in the fourth quarter and running back Jose Ruiz finished with 133 yards on the ground to lead the Giants, but the Gobblers had essentially put the game out of reach by the time the final period began.
“We haven’t gotten to taste success, so we wanted our team to get a taste of that success,” Grogg said. “We handled our business and we did the good things and came out on the other end. The biggest thing is these guys have that taste going into the offseason, so hopefully this fuels us a little bit.”
Broadway 0 7 28 0—35
Waynesboro 0 2 6 16—24
WHS—Team safety. 6:21
BHS—Thew 17 pass from Stuhlmiller (Copenhaver kick), 2:17
BHS—Thew 55 pass from Stuhlmiller (Benevides kick), 11:38
WHS—Gamble 65 interception return (pass failed0, 7:43
BHS—Stuhlmiller 55 run (Copenhaver kick), 7:23
BHS—Thew 55 pass from Stuhlmiller, (Benevides kick), 5:08
BHS—Tinnel 40 pass from Stuhlmiller (Dumler kick), 2:08
WHS—Jackson 11 run (Ruiz run), 5:56.
WHS—Gaylor 80 pass from Jackson (Jackson run), 1:03