WELLSVILLE — A few bad bounces and unforced errors cost Wayland-Cohocton in a frustrating Week 4 loss at Letchworth/Warsaw.

Friday night, with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Golden Eagles responded.

Wayland-Cohocton created its own breaks and even had a few bounces go its way this time around, as the Golden Eagles put together four dominating quarters in a 54-6 win on Wellsville’s Homecoming.

“Coming in, we said it’s a pivotal game this week,” said first-year Way-Co head coach Darren Knapp. “Watching Wellsville on tape, they look pretty solid and they’ve got some good players over there. They definitely did a good job against some of their opponents, and we didn’t want to take them lightly. The guys came in and bounced back after last week’s disappointment, and that’s what you look for in a team. Can they rebound like that? That was a tough one last week.

“They executed tonight, played great defense and every facet of the game was well done. I’m real proud of them. They definitely turned it around.”

Running backBrandon DeGuarde was unstoppable in leading the Way-Co (3-2) offense with 143 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. DeGuarde also had three catches for 35 yards and a score from quarterback Connor Englert.

“He sprung loose a little bit,” Knapp said of DeGuarde. “He got his legs going. He’s in a groove seeing the blocks in front of him. The line is making it happen for him and doing a great job too, but he’s definitely coming into his own at the right time.”

DeGuarde scored Way-Co’s first three touchdowns on the night, the first pair on runs of five and seven yards as the Eagles led 14-0 after one quarter of play. Later, Englert scrambled on 3rd and 12, drew in the defense and then lofted a perfect pass to DeGuarde in stride for six more. Englert finished his night 6-of-11 passing for 72 yards.

“Of all the quarterbacks that we’ve seen, he probably throws the best ball,” said Wellsville coach Jarrod Bell. “He’s mobile and a couple times he got out and put a kid in conflict, said come get me to our flat defender and I’ll just dump it over your head. You’re in a pickle as a defender. That’s a good designed play.

“They have weapons. DeGuarde is pretty quick, and (Ryan) Damboise is a tough runner too,” Bell added. “They hit the hole quick and get the ball north-south. They turned it into some big plays. We talked about it at halftime, tackling is a fundamental of the sport but it’s also a mentality. You have to stick your nose in there and tackle. Right now we’re not sticking our nose in there enough. A couple times we had them stopped at the line of scrimmage or a short gain, and they bounced it into a big play.”

The second half was the Damboise show as the senior rumbled to touchdown runs of 42 and 17 yards. Damboise finished with 80 yards on eight carries. Sophomore Thomas Mead got in on the act with touchdowns on both sides of the ball. Mead had a pass bounce from a Wellsville receiver into his hands, and he ran the ball back 30 yards for a pick-six late in the first half.

In the fourth quarter, Mead took over at QB for Englert and ripped a 95-yard touchdown run to cap the win for a hungry Way-Co team.

“We had a good week of practice and we kicked it up a notch after that tough loss,” Knapp said. “You could kind of see them grit their teeth a little bit. They want to go. It was a good win tonight.

“They all played really well. There wasn’t one person that made it happen, they all made it happen. That’s what I like to see on a football team. Let’s spread the wealth and give everyone a chance, especially in the fourth quarter we got some young bucks in that haven’t had a lot of playing time yet. It’s cool for those young guys to see the game. It keeps them invested in the system and the program. It was a lot of fun tonight.”

Wellsville (1-4) got on the board in the third quarter when QB Colin Cook hit Jimmy McKinley (33 yards) and Ethen Stoll (21 yards) for big gains in the passing game, and Noah Chaffee capped it with a one-yard TD plunge.

“It’s nice to get some energy under us,” Bell said. “Where we were in our formations, we weren’t fast enough. We went back to a traditional I-back to get downhill. We struggled early with it, but Way-Co has a great defensive front and they were just bringing basically everybody, all seven. They cheat their safeties down and made it challenging in the first half. By halftime they had frustrated our line enough where the confidence wasn’t there to continue. We moved the ball in spurts, but the consistency hasn’t been there the last few weeks.”

Damboise had seven tackles (three for loss) to lead the Way-Co defense. Colton Wood and Devin Magin had four each and Englert had two tackles for loss. Israel McClure had a sack, with Robert Belanger, Joe Hint and Dan Harter recovering fumbles.

Tyler Smith led the Lions with seven tackles, while Chaffee and McKinley had two each. Chaffee had 34 yards rushing and Nate Watson added 24. The Lions next host Class B power Batavia.

“They’ve got to be close to No. 1 in the state,” Bell said. “I want to work on getting better at what we need to get better at, consistency on offense and tackling. We’ll prep for what they do formation wise but we can’t forget about taking care of ourselves. We’ll get back to the basics again.”

Way-Co hosts Red Jacket on its Homecoming.

“They’re a tough D school that likes to ground and pound it, and they’ve got some big boys up front,” Knapp said. “They’re well-coached. It’s our Homecoming and Senior Night, and hopefully that goes in our favor. Then we end up with LeRoy, a pretty tough team. We’ve got our work cut out for us but I’ve got faith in these fellas.”