Blue Lions knock off Circleville, 33-12

CIRCLEVILLE — The remnants of Hurricane Harvey messed with both teams Friday night but it was Washington Court House that figured out a way to beat the weather and Circleville, 33-12.

The rain started shortly after kickoff and fell for the remainder of the night, contributing to seven fumbles between the two teams.

While the Blue Lions (2-0) had a fairly balanced attack in the first half in building an 18-9 lead, they primarily kept it on the ground in the second half and in the hands of Jacob Rice. The senior ran the ball 17 times for 180 yards in the second half and had 228 yards for the game.

“Coach (John) Jackson has been working with him and we kid at practice all the time about them because he’s his private instructor. Jacob has really taken to it and Jacob is one of the hardest practice players that I’ve seen in a long time,” coach Chuck Williamson said. “Everything he did tonight is because of hard work. I don’t know how many after contact yards he had but it was a lot. He got hit and he bounced off and just kept going.”

With another 91 yards coming from quarterback Dillon Steward, the Blue Lions ran for 347 yards Friday.

“Our offensive line, after about the fifth or sixth series, they just said, ‘Let’s go, let’s go,’” Williamson said. “In these conditions, it’s hard to throw the ball. This isn’t what we’re made for but we talked before the game about just strapping it up and playing.”

On the other side of the ball, Circleville was fairly limited in what it was able to get done. The Tigers’ (1-1) first drive of the night resulted in a touchdown but they were only able to muster 18 more yards in the first half. Things didn’t go much better in the second half for the hosts as they netted only another 157 yards.

“Our defense just played out of this world,” Williamson said. “We knew their offense was potent and we knew they were going to try to keep the ball away from us and ground the ball, and our defense had three or four turnovers.

“Coach (Corey) Dye has just done a tremendous job with our defense. And the kids, most of all, understand their assignments and they’re going 110 percent. They are flying around hitting people.

“I wouldn’t want to play against our defense,” Williamson added.” They get after it and it’s a tribute to them.”

That first-quarter touchdown for Circleville gave the Tigers an early lead but the Blue Lions were able to come back with a drive that ended with Steward going in from 17 yards out.

A bad snap on a punt gave Circleville a safety in the second quarter but WCH answered with 10-play drive that culminated with Caleb Rice catching a 17-yard TD.

A 60-yard TD pass from Steward to Eli Ruth left WCH up 18-9 at the half.

Jacob Rice added a pair of four-yard touchdown runs in the second half to round out the scoring.

It’s Homecoming next week as the Blue Lions host the London Red Raiders.

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Washington junior Jacob Rice (15) tries to fight his way through a hole Friday night on the way to 228 rushing yards against the Circleville Tigers at Circleville. junior Jacob Rice (15) tries to fight his way through a hole Friday night on the way to 228 rushing yards against the Circleville Tigers at Circleville.

By John Howley

For the Circleville Herald