Demons to get their first taste of the Washington-Mt. Pleasant football rivalry
The preview of tonight’s football game between rivals Washington and Mt. Pleasant ran in yesterday’s Washington Evening Journal, and the headline read, “Demons and Panthers to renew their rivalry.”
And it is a renewal of the rivalry. Not one Demon who steps onto the Case Field turf tonight was in a varsity uniform the last time the two teams played. Washington head coach Randy Schrader has never coached against Mt. Pleasant. So this will be the first taste of the football rivalry for everyone involved.
Remember what happened the last time these two schools faced each other on the gridiron? Well, back on Oct. 2, 2009, Washington trailed Mt. Pleasant 20-18 with 1:12 remaining in the Homecoming game when sophomore Parker Turner was called upon to attempt a 30-yard field goal. Turner had only attempted two extra-point kicks all season long, and had made just one, so it was definitely a risky call for then-head coach Jason Ganoe.
Turner took a couple of steps and booted the ball, and it lifted high into the air. With the cold wind pushing it, the ball fluttered through the uprights to give the Demons a 21-20 lead with 1:02 left.
Washington’s defense, which held the Panthers scoreless in the second half of the game, then came up with one last stop. Mt. Pleasant quarterback Cody Vaughn’s screen pass to tailback Darian Cotton on first down lost three yards. Then Vaughn tried a pass over the middle, which was intercepted by Washington’s Landon Coker to seal the Demon win.
It was a miracle win for the underdog Demons. And it was a miracle the game was even played at all. Over 100 Mt. Pleasant Community High School students had missed school with the flu on Monday of that week, and nearly 150 missed school with the illness on Tuesday. A Southeast Conference volleyball match between Washington and Mt. Pleasant scheduled for that Tuesday night was postponed because of fear of spreading the illness, which may have been the H1N1 virus, to Washington High School.
Washington’s current seniors were freshmen the last time the two rivals played, and hopefully they remember that game. The bragging rights have belonged to Washington for the last three years, and that’s something they’ll want to keep locked down.
The players and fans in Mt. Pleasant likely remember that 2009 game. They’ve likely been stewing over that loss and waiting for the next time the two teams square off.
That will be tonight. There’s a lot of tradition in the rivalry, even if the two schools haven’t faced each other on the football field since 2009. Like Schrader said earlier this week, the Demons must defend the flag of Washington High School. The bragging rights are on the line.