On a humid last Friday of August, the Washington Blue Lion football team kicked off the 2019 campaign by hosting the Wildcats of Blanchester High School.
The Blue Lions and Wildcats combined last year to score 100 points as Washington prevailed at Blanchester, 58-42.
Last night, with a very solid defense, the Blue Lions won the game, 26-0.
“I just told the team, the biggest thing we need to do is get better from this game to week two,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “Good teams make that huge jump and that’s what we plan on doing.
“I can’t say enough about the defense,” Williamson said. “They played phenomenal. Blanchester is a good football team. They run that unorthodox wing-T that’s hard to defend and I thought our kids really stepped up. I couldn’t be prouder of those guys.”
Washington freshman Trevaughn Jackson excited the large home crowd with a 91-yard return of the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
The extra-point kick was blocked.
After the teams exchanged punts, Blanchester’s Carter Abbott grabbed the first of his two interceptions on the night.
Soon Jackson had an interception at the Blanchester 30-yard line.
Neither team was able to sustain a drive and then it was Adam Frump with an interception for the Wildcats.
In a game with nine turnovers, five by Blanchester and four by Washington, Garitt Leisure recovered a Wildcat fumble for the Blue Lions near the five minute mark of the second quarter.
Abbott had another interception down at the Blanchester 8-yard line.
Washington converted what appeared to be a touchdown, but it was nullified by a penalty.
Moments later, Ethan Rogers-Wright passed to Jamie McCane for a touchdown of 23 yards.
Leading 12-0, the Blue Lions opted to go for two and McCane ran it in to give Washington a 14-0 lead with 39.2 seconds to play before the half.
Washington began the scoring early in the fourth quarter with a 20-yard pass from Rogers-Wright to Jerome Mack. The point-after touchdown kick was no good, leaving the Blue Lions with a 20-0 lead.
Leisure had an interception and later in the fourth, Tyler Tackage recovered a fumble for Washington.
The final score of the game came with a 4-yard pass from Rogers-Wright to Eli Lynch. That score came with 4:13 to play in the game. The extra-point attempt was no good, giving Washington a 26-0 lead, which would be the final.
The Blue Lion defense earned the team’s first shutout since Oct. 19, 2012 when they blanked Hillsboro, 39-0. (That is not counting a 1-0 forfeit victory over St. Charles during the 2017 season. The final score of that game before the forfeit was announced was 34-12 in favor of St. Charles.)
Washington accumulated 244 yards of offense to 66 for Blanchester.
Rogers-Wright was 16 of 28 passing for 112 yards.
“I told Ethan, ‘the bottom line for the quarterback is that scoreboard, the rest of it doesn’t really matter,’” Williamson said.
Blanchester was 0 of 5 passing.
The Wildcats carried the ball 38 times for 66 yards, led by James Peters with 58 yards on 21 attempts.
McCane carried 21 times for Washington for 100 yards.
Lynch led the Blue Lions with six receptions for 23 yards and one touchdown.
Mack had four catches for 38 yards and one touchdown; Calum Brown had four catches for 21 yards and McCane caught two for 30 yards and one touchdown.
Washington will be on the road next week at Circleville at 7 p.m.
Blanchester will host the Taylor Yellowjackets next week at 7 p.m.
Remembering Coach Lucas
There was a moment of silence Friday night before the National Anthem was played to honor the memory of former Washington Blue Lion and Miami Trace Panthers head football coach, Roy Lucas. Lucas, 77, passed away Monday, Aug. 26.