The Washington Blue Lions and McClain Tigers continued one of the oldest rivalries in Ohio high school football Friday night at Gardner Park.
The Blue Lions won a shoot-out over the Tigers, 48-34.
“I give McClain all the credit in the world,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “They fought back, they didn’t quit. They’re a good football team and they’re well coached.
“Give our kids credit,” Williamson said. “Our kids came out and kept grinding and grinding.”
Sophomore Dillon Steward started at quarterback for the Blue Lions Friday, the fourth different quarterback Washington has used this season.
“He looked pretty good,” Williamson said. “He does things sometimes and you just (can’t believe). He’s a special player.”
“We certainly didn’t quit,” McClain head coach Jeremey Andrews said. The Blue Lions led the Tigers, 28-7 at halftime.
“We wasted two drives in the first half. We had two really good drives in the first half, we got inside the 15-yard line and didn’t score. And we lost by two scores, so, that was obviously significant.”
Andrews was pleased with the way his Tigers played in the second half.
“We did come out and win the second half against a good football team,” Andrews said. “They’re a 6-2 football team; a high-quality football team, a high-quality coach with high-quality players and we managed to play well in the second half.
“Hopefully we’ll learn some lessons from the mistakes we made,” Andrews said. “And we can correct those and come out (next week) and start quicker.”
McClain began the scoring with a 12-yard run by Gabe Adams.
Washington answered with two touchdowns in the first quarter, a 53-yard run and a 20-yard run by Steward with extra-point kicks by Alex Trombold.
Freshman Garitt Leisure had an interception for the Blue Lions that he returned 22-yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Steward completed the first half scoring with his third touchdown, this one a run of 28 yards.
Washington scored first in the third quarter on a 5-yard pass from Steward to Kory Proby.
McClain began its comeback bid with touchdown runs by Adams of 11 and 4 yards, respectively.
Jacob Rice scored on a 39-yard run for the Blue Lions with 40 seconds to play in the third quarter.
After three complete, the Blue Lions held a 41-20 lead.
Adams broke through the Blue Lion defense and rushed 54 yards for a score with 11:02 to play in the game. The two-point conversion was good, making it a 41-28 game, in favor of Washington.
Tristan Pitzer scored on a 3-yard run with 2:40 to play in the game. Another two-point attempt failed.
Washington was driving late and McClain was out of time outs.
Steward scored his fourth touchdown of the game with 32 seconds to play. The extra-point kick was good, making the final score 48-34.
McClain (1-7 overall, 0-5 in the SCOL) continues a three-game, season-ending road trip at East Clinton next week.
The Tigers finish the 2016 season at Hillsboro on Oct. 28.
Washington improves to 6-2 overall, 3-2 in the SCOL. The Blue Lions are at Chillicothe next week.
The Cavaliers lost to Clinton-Massie Friday, 14-13.
Wilmington beat Miami Trace, 35-7 and Hillsboro defeated East Clinton, 28-14.
Massie and Wilmington are now tied for first place in the SCOL at 5-0.
Chillicothe is now 4-1 and the Blue Lions are fourth at 3-2.
Miami Trace is 2-3 in the league, followed by Hillsboro at 1-4 and McClain and East Clinton are 0-5 in the SCOL.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1