Last week at Columbus South High School, the Washington Blue Lions twice overcame a 28-point deficit and rallied to defeat the Cougars, 61-54 in the first round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s football playoffs.
With the win, the Blue Lions improved to 9-2 on the season and this week they are preparing for another postseason playoff game.
Friday night, the Blue Lions visit Sheridan High School to take on the Generals in the Region 11 quarterfinals.
While Washington was coming from behind to beat Columbus South, the Generals were hosting the Circleville Tigers. Sheridan won that game, 26-0 to improve to 10-1.
The Generals are the No. 1 seed in the tournament in Region 11, the Blue Lions are the No. 9 seed.
Sheridan began the season with a 35-28 win over Licking Valley (5-6).
The Generals then had a close loss to 9-2 Watkins Memorial (27-24).
Since then, Sheridan has won nine games in a row:
28-7 vs Logan (4-6); 18-13 vs Morgan (6-5); 21-7 vs John Glenn (3-7); 53-14 vs River View (4-6); 35-6 vs Philo (5-6); 50-13 vs Maysville (5-5); 14-13 vs Tri-Valley (9-2) and 31-20 vs New Lexington (8-3).
Washington head coach Chuck Williamson reflected a bit on the game against South before discussing the Generals.
“I just couldn’t be prouder of them,” Williamson said. “We were down 28-0 and 34-7 with, I think, nine minutes to go in the first half. They didn’t waver. They just battled back and kept fighting and kept fighting. They took the lead late and held on.
“Everything that could wrong for us did go wrong,” Williamson said. “I think they had two scoop and scores; they returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. It was like a bad dream. But they just kept battling and battling and battling and ended up winning in the end. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Several players had outstanding individual performances for the Blue Lions, including Rocky Jones, who had a combined total of 250 yards of offense and scored three touchdowns.
Quarterback Troy Thompson completed 20 of 34 passes for 328 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.
South was doing a lot of handing off and lateraling and it took a while for the Blue Lion defenders to really clamp down on whomever was carrying the ball to limit those extra hand-offs. Finally, Washington was able to control, if not totally stop, all the handing off of the ball by the Cougars.
“I think (Jones) had close to 300 all-purpose yards,” Williamson said. “They had no answer for him, so, we were just trying to the ball to him in space. They struggled tackling him. He had a great game.
“Troy had a tremendous performance,” Williamson said of the senior quarterback.
“We had a huge stop there at the end to seal it, so, that was big,” Williamson said. “I think we wore them down, I think that was the key. They tired out at the end and we were still playing.”
What about Sheridan
“They are fundamentally sound,” Williamson said. “They look a lot like Saint Charles, athletically. A little more athletic, but just very fundamentally sound. They have a 3-3 stack defense. Offensively, they’re a lot like us; they’ll go spread.
“They play two quarterbacks, No. 13 and 14,” Williamson said. “They do a lot of different things. They’re a good football team. We’re going to have to play our ‘A’ game to beat them, but, we can beat them.”