The Washington Blue Lions hosted the Jackson Ironmen for the opening Friday of the Frontier Athletic Conference.
Jackson won the game, 31-20.
The Blue Lions started strong against their new conference opponent. Within the first four minutes of the game, Zane Nelson intercepted a pass and drove home a touchdown bringing the score 6-0.
Jared Icenhower, quarterback for Jackson, would not let this go unanswered though as they quickly scored a touchdown of their own off a 71-yard pass to Payton Speakman. The extra point was good giving Jackson a 7-6 lead.
The second quarter saw two more scores for Jackson at the 10:39 mark and with 9:22 remaining as Blake McCoy ran in both a 3-yard touchdown and a 58-yard touchdown. Both extra point kicks sailed through the upright, bringing the lead for Jackson to 21-6.
The Blue Lions rallied late in the second quarter for a score with a 10-yard run by Richie Burns only to be followed up with a successful two-point conversion catch by Burns from Eli Lynch.
With just seconds to go before the half, Jackson’s Mike Benson kicked a 34-yard field goal, bringing the score 24-14.
No points would be scored by either team until less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
McCoy would get one more touchdown before the night was over with a 6-yard run, giving Jackson a 31-14 lead.
The Lions kept the fight up the entire way and with mere seconds on the clock, Burns completed a pass to Caleb Rice for a 9-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, leaving Jackson with the final 31-20 victory.
“We made too many mistakes,” Washington Blue Lion Coach Chuck Williamson said. “Against a good team you can’t make mistakes like that.
“We have to clean up some things on special teams. One thing I really thought, our kids played their rear ends off. They didn’t quit and (showed) heart. Even at the end you saw them scrapping, trying to win a football game. We just came up a little short tonight.”
Williamson said that several players including Burns, Derrick Wade, Nelson, both Rice brothers and many others performed well for the team and were able to make some big plays despite the loss.
Offensively, Jackson accumulated 349 total yards of offense to 311 for the Blue Lions.
The Ironmen ran 58 offensive plays to 49 for Washington.
Washington had 207 yards passing as Richie Burns was 12 of 22 with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Icenhower was 2 of 8 for 88 yards, one interception and one touchdown.
Eli Ruth had four receptions for the Blue Lions for 70 yards.
Zane Nelson caught two passes for 58 yards; Eli Lynch had three receptions for 57 yards and Caleb Rice caught three for 22 yards.
Burns led the Blue Lions in rushing with 57 yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts.
Jacob Rice carried nine times for 38 yards.
Blake McCoy carried 25 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns to lead Jackson.
Washington had 15 first downs to 16 for Jackson.
Washington had two turnovers to one for Jackson.
Washington will play at Hillsboro next week.
The Indians lost to Chillicothe Friday, 42-20.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy