Pella ruins openerWashington falls in season opener 35-0
The tone was set early on Friday night, and Washington simply couldn’t change it.
A fumble on the third play of the game gave Pella the ball on Washington’s 20 yard line, and one play later, Pella junior quarterback Noah Clayberg found Seth Johnson through the air for a touchdown.
Pella’s defense remained stingy throughout the game, shutting out the Demons 35-0 in the season opening game.
“It’s week one and a new system against a very good Pella team,” first-year head coach Garrison Carter said after his first game at the helm of the Demons. “The good thing that came out of this is our seniors, before I could even get there said ‘don’t worry guys, we’ll get another chance to get them,’ and that’s the truth. We have a long ways to go until we are where we need to be, but there are a lot of positives that came out of this game, and we have to keep building off those.”
One of the positives came from starting quarterback Daryn Sebelius, who accounted for nearly every Demon yard of offense, with 149 yards rushing and 196 yards through the air.
“Daryn is going to be the best skill player on the field in most games we play, and I think he was again tonight,” Carter said. “I couldn’t ask for much more out of him, we just need to shore up a few more things surrounding him and we’ll be fine.”
After Pella (who opened up the first official state rankings at No. 1 in 3A), started things off with a touchdown, the Demons started driving on the legs of Sebelius, working their way to the Pella 25, but turned the ball over on downs.
The Dutch took over and Clayberg used his legs to extend the Pella lead to 14 with a 20 yard keeper.
The next three drives of the first half ended much the same for the Demons, who turned the ball over on downs in Pella territory on each of them, while Pella took a 21-0 lead into the break.
“We moved the ball well, but we just shot ourselves in the foot,” Carter said. “The theme from this night is that we were right there. We were so close, driving inside the 20-yard line five times, and didn’t come away with any points. Defensively we had them in third-and-long numerous times but couldn’t get them off the field.”
Pella didn’t ease up after halftime, as its first play of the third quarter was an 87-yard touchdown run by Clayberg.
Clayberg’s night finished with 166 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while passing for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just have to tackle and get better,” Carter said. “We’ve talked about this all offseason where we are starting a lot of first-time guys, and we are going to have some growing pains, but it’s time to grow up. We are getting closer and closer to district play and we can’t afford to have this anymore.”
Going up against one of the premier defenses in the state, the Washington offense was able to get a solid push from the line, who Carter said was the best part of the night.
“I thought our offensive line was fantastic tonight,” Carter said. “That was one thing we were really concerned about coming into this game, because Pella has a really good defensive line. They have some highly touted guys and I thought our offensive line did a great job in running and pass protection, and that’s really exciting. That was one of our big question marks for tonight, and now its one of our least question marks. They really brought it tonight.”
Washington will look to rebound on Friday when it travels to face Marion, who dispatched Mount Vernon, 28-6, on the road.