WAVERLY — McCrae Hagarty is a 14-year-old who rides a moped.
And a guy who’s only been in high school for just over a month.
But Hagarty already is making an impact with the Waverly-Shell Rock football team.
The powerful and explosive freshman dazzled in his varsity debut, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown to lift the Go-Hawks to a 15-8 win over West Delaware on Friday night.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound fullback, a standout wrestler who moved to Waverly this past summer, gained 30 first-half yards before turning in a stellar second-half performance.
“I was a little nervous and scared at the same time,” Hagarty said. “There are some big dudes out there playing varsity. I had a lot of emotions going into the game, but I knew I had to stay calm and try to help my team. Once I got out there, I was fine. My teammates really helped me.”
Hagarty showed off his speed when he broke loose up the middle and outraced defenders en route to a 47-yard touchdown run. That gave his team a 12-0 edge early in the third quarter.
“I had a blast out there,” Hagarty said. “Our offensive line did an awesome job and they opened some huge holes for me. That hole was like a mile wide on that touchdown run – I barely got touched. Our line was amazing tonight.”
The Go-Hawks later went up 15-0 on a 37-yard field goal by Donavan Wessel with 4:12 left in the game.
West Delaware capitalized on a late turnover to pull within 15-8 before W-SR recovered an onside kick to ice the win.
“West Delaware is a fine, fine football program with tons of tradition,” W-SR head coach Mark Hubbard said. “But I am extremely happy for our kids with how hard they played.”
The Go-Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak in improving to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Class 3A district play. West Delaware fell to 2-4, 0-2.
“To fight through this adversity and come back like we did speaks volumes about these kids,” added Hubbard. “These kids played with great effort and intensity. I’m so proud of the way they competed. They hung in there and they stayed together. I’m extremely happy for our players.”
The first quarter featured no first downs and a combined eight punts as both teams struggled offensively.
The Go-Hawks finally struck just before halftime when Payton Leonard connected with Cael White on a halfback pass for an eight-yard touchdown.
Hagarty had been playing on the freshman and junior varsity teams before he was told early in the week to be ready to play on the varsity this week.
He entered Friday’s game midway through the first quarter and finished with 23 carries, including 18 in the second half.
“We knew McCrae was going to help us,” Hubbard said. “We wanted to get him acclimated to freshman ball and JV ball. We felt tonight was the time to give him a chance to play varsity football. He has the ability to separate and he will be the first to tell you the offensive line did a great job blocking for him.”
Waverly-S.R. 15, W. Delaware 8
W. Delaware 0 0 0 8 — 8
Waverly-SR 0 6 6 3 — 15
WSR — Cael White 8 pass from Payton Leonard (kick failed)
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WSR — McCrae Hagarty 47 run (pass failed)
WSR — FG Donovan Wessel 37
WD — Kyle Kelley 22 pass from Jared Voss (Voss run)
First downs 8 14
Rushes-yards 34-99 42-151
Passing yards 84 110
Comp-att-int 5-19-1 7-16-1
Punts-avg. 7-34.6 8-30.3
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-55 3-25
WEST DELAWARE – Wyatt Voelker 4-57, Cael Meyer 23-56.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK – McCrae Hagarty 23-140, Donovan Wessel 5-11, Jonathan Wessel 6-6.
WEST DELAWARE – Voss 5-19-1, 84 yards.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK – Ethan Flege 6-11-1, 92 yards, Leonard 1-1-0, 8 yards.
WEST DELAWARE – Logan Woellert 2-42, Kelley 2-35, Alias Underwood 1-7.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK – Tyler McNally 4-66, Cael White 2-35, Donovan Wessel 1-9.