Demons seek answers ahead of rivalry game
Following last week’s 14-7 loss, Washington football head coach Randy Schrader said it looked as if his players hadn’t been coached.
Washington had a week to work out those kinks ahead of a game with Fairfield, Friday, at 7:30 at Case Field. Schrader is confident his team will put forth a high-caliber performance.
“We have already made adjustments,” he said. “We learned as a staff what we need to do to counter that type of defense. If they do that, we have an answer for it.”
Washington put together two strong practices Tuesday and Wednesday.
“[Wednesday] was a fast, crisp practice," he said. "We got a lot of reps in a short amount of time. We didn’t have to do anything personnel-wise. We have had two good days of practices. Yesterday it was awful [weather] out, 100 degrees and we still had a good practice.”
Pella crowded the box, plugging up any running lanes for backs.
“Pella was so fast and physical, we didn’t expect that,” he said. “We are reasonably fast, usually pretty physical. We weren’t ready for it. We had some poor playing calling and got rattled. That was on me.”
The offensive line will need to step up and new formations on offense could do the trick.
Fairfield has had a roller-coaster ride just two games into the season. It got shut out 47-0 by Albia. In its last game it topped Davis County 34-7.
“I think they have done a good job,” Schrader said. “They are coming off a game where they soundly beat Davis County. Albia got them the first game — they were down 14 after snapping the ball one time. The snap went over the quarterback’s head and fumbled the kick off. Albia is a good team.”
The Trojans showed off several weapons in their season-opening win.
“Fairfield handled them,” he said. “They came out and ran the ball well. They have that big tight end Vince Horras. They used him as a good weapon. The quarterback Jordan Whitney is handy. They play good defense.”
The pass attack has yet to take off with Horras leading the team with six receptions.
Washington worked on fielding onside kicks, Wednesday in practice with Schrader having an inkling that Fairfield will use special teams for momentum.
“I would assume some trick is going to [happen,]” he said. “They are either going to onside or fake a punt. You always have to be ready for that kind of stuff. They are going to pull out all the stops to beat us. It is the first district game for both teams.”
When asked if he thinks Fairfield is favored in this game he responded, “They better not be.”
Last year’s matchup was all too close. Fairfield led 7-0 for more than half the game. The Demons came back to take a 14-7 advantage before Horras caught a pass that appeared to knot the square. Kicker Matt Carr subsequently missed the game-tying extra point.
“It was a huge mistake on their part,” said running back Tanner Knupp. “That kid had to feel terrible. It helped us. I hope it doesn’t come down to special teams this game, but at some point this season it could decide it.”
This is the second year in a row the two teams have squared off renewing a long-time rivalry.
“I think it is going to be a good football game,” Schrader said. “We are 30 miles apart. It’s a traditional Southeast Seven football rivalry from way back in the day when they had that conference. There is a lot of tradition between Washington and Fairfield.”