What was a one score game going into the fourth quarter turned into a 34-12 victory by Columbus St. Charles over the Washington C.H. Blue Lions Friday night at Gardner Park.
Washington trailed the Cardinals 20-6 at halftime, but some stingy defense by the Blue Lions in the third quarter kept them in the ballgame. Quarterback sacks by Marcell Garrett and Eli Shaw snuffed out St. Charles’s first possession of the half.
Although the Lions were unable to move the chains when they got the football back, the Washington defense came up big again in large part because of a sack by Jeremy Sluder. The Cardinals were once again forced to punt and this time the Blue Lion offense took advantage.
The impressive drive began with quarterback Richard Burns finding wide receiver Eli Ruth for a 31-yard gain. A couple of nice runs by Jacob Rice were followed by an 18-yard run by Burns, who steamrolled over a Cardinal defender in the process. Shortly after, Burns made a beautiful pass to Ruth again for a 36-yard touchdown.
The two-point conversion failed and it was only an eight-point game, 20-12 going into the fourth quarter.
The Blue Lion defense once again forced St. Charles to punt, but this time their offense stalled. The Cardinals scored two more touchdowns, both by quarterback Brooks McCann, who ran for three yards and 13 yards on the scores to make it a 34-12 game.
St. Charles got off to a fast start in the first half with a 60-yard touchdown pass from McCann to Dylan Forche and a 20-yard touchdown pass from McCann to Rowe on the very next possession.
Washington quickly responded with a touchdown drive of their own as Jacob Rice pounded it into the end zone with a three-yard run. The extra point kick was blocked by the Cardinals.
In the second quarter, St. Charles added two field goals for a halftime lead of 20-6.
For the game, St. Charles racked up a total of 313 yards to the Blue Lions’ 188 yards. Jacob Rice was the leading rusher in the game with 70 yards on 20 carries.
“Our team is still feeling things out and we’re getting better,” said Washington head coach Chuck Williamson. “We have a new quarterback and we’re really just a play or two away right now. We were right in this one, we had a chance and we just didn’t execute when we needed to execute. So we need to get back to practice and we need to practice harder.”
The Blue Lions, who fell to 2-3, open up Frontier Athletic Conference play next Friday night at home against Jackson, who will enter the contest 4-1 on the season.
“Jackson is really good,” said Williamson. “But we can play with anybody. I truly believe we can play with anybody if we come out and play our game.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica