The eighth-seeded Wayne Warriors (11-2) survived the gauntlet and advanced to the Division I State semi-finals after beating St. Xavier (8-5) to win the Region Four Championship with a 28-24 victory.
It is the first time since 1999 that a Warriors or a Dayton area team has represented the Southwest District in the DI final four. They earned the berth the hard way beating Middletown, Centerville and St. Xavier.
Senior Seth Stuart had 133 all-purpose yards and a touchdown receiving and rushing for Wayne. Quarterback Braxton Miller threw for 176 yards with one passing and running score for the winners.
Wayne took a 21-7 lead midway into the third quarter only to see the Bombers come storming back. St. Xavier took a 24-21 lead with 7:34 left in the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Griffin Dolle.
Wayne responded with an 80-yard drive that was capped off by an Anthone Taylor 19-yard touchdown run just a 1:49 seconds later. It would prove to be the game winner as the Warrior held St. Xavier the rest of the way. Taylor finished with 89 yards on the ground.
St. Xavier had several key performances, but they just weren't enough to defeat a game Warriors' squad. Conor Hundley ran for 118 yards and two scores. Steven Daniels had two sacks and Jake Brodbeck amassed 128 all-purpose yards in a losing effort.
Wayne will take on undefeated Hilliard Davidson (13-0) next Saturday night at a site to still be determined.