The early evening showers did in no way dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the Washington Blue Lions as they held their annual Homecoming game Friday night.
Washington and their opponent, Gallia Academy, were both looking for their first win of the season.
The Blue Lions set the tone with an opening touchdown drive and went on to defeat the Blue Devils, 34-13.
Washington took the opening kickoff and drove for the initial touchdown, a one-yard run by Aaron Greer. Alex Trombold’s kick made it 7-0 Blue Lions with 7:19 to play in the first quarter.
The teams exchanged punts and the quarter ended with the same tally, 7-0.
Early in the second quarter, Trystan Uhl recovered a fumble for the Blue Lions.
Washington soon scored on a 9-yard run by Greer. Thombold’s kick made it 14-0, Blue Lions at the 10:44 mark.
After a key sack by Steven Willis of the Blue Lions, Washington was able to force another Gallia Academy punt.
Caleb Rice had a run of 42 yards that helped set up a 15-yard touchdown pass play from Jarett Patton to Mason McCane.
Trombold’s kick made it 21-0 Blue Lions with 6:05 to play in the half.
Gallia Academy fumbled on its next possession, recovered by Eric Barden.
That soon led to the fourth Blue Lion touchdown of the half.
C.J. Taylor gave the ball to Barden who lofted a 29-yard pass to Kory Proby for the touchdown at the 2:25 mark.
The kick was wide left, and, as time expired in the first half, Washington headed for the locker room with a 27-0 lead.
In the third quarter, Gallia Academy’s Kole Carter completed a 20-yard pass to Colton Campbell to make it 27-6. The two-point coversion failed.
Barden and the Blue Lions responded with a 55-yard touchdown run. Wendy Hawk kicked the extra point, giving Washington a 34-0 lead.
Carter scored on an 85-yard run with 1:15 to play, making the final 34-13.
“I thought the key tonight was how we started,” Washington head coach Corey Dye said. “I challenged the guys before the game. I told them, ‘we have to take this opening drive down the field and score. Our kids accepted the challenge and did just that. It was a really good night for us.
“Homecoming is a special night,” Dye said. “There are a lot of people who come back from college to be here tonight. They come from out of town, maybe they were in the alumni band.
“To see the way we played tonight, it’s just awesome,” Dye said. “It was a total team effort. There wasn’t one part of the game that overtook the other. Our special teams showed up to play and did a nice job. Our offense did a great job and our defense played well.”
Washington, now 1-2 on the season, will begin play in the South Central Ohio League with a game at Hillsboro next Friday night.
Hillsboro picked up its first win of the season Friday, 40-6 over Clermont Northeastern (now 0-3).
“I know coach Hodge is a great coach,” Dye said of the Hillsboro mentor. “I respect him. I know he’s going to have his football team ready to go. We have to have another great week of practice. I thought that was a key, too. The kids stayed focused all week. I’m really proud of them.”
Elsewhere around the SCOL, Clinton-Massie (2-1) got back on the winning side with a 52-21 win over Indian Creek, Ind.; Logan Elm beat Miami Trace, 48-14; Greeneview handed East Clinton its first loss of the season, 28-13; Zane Trace improved to 3-0 with a 58-7 win over McClain (0-3); Chillicothe got its first win, beating Teays Valley, 34-28 and Vandalia Butler beat Wilmington, 29-20. The Hurricane are now 2-1.
Washington had 347 total yards of offense to 228 for Gallia Academy.
Washington had 48 carries for 303 yards to 23 carries for 133 yards for the Blue Devils.
Eric Barden had six carries for 84 yards and one touchdown and Aaron Greer carried 13 times for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
C.J. Taylor was 0-2 passing; Jarett Patton was 1 for 2 with a 15 yard touchdown and one interception and Barden was 1 for 1 for a 29-yard touchdown.
Mason McCane had one catch for 15 yards and a touchdown and Kory Proby had one catch for a 29-yard touchdown.