Sebelius: Big plays are our specialty
Two plays, two touchdowns.
“You probably can’t script it any better than that, can ya?” asked head coach Randy Schrader.
Washington had back-to-back runs of 65 yards for scores in as many plays to open the game.
First was a break-out run from senior Alex Coker 13 seconds into the game.
“I called the set,” Coker said. “Coach (Jay Zieglowsky) asked if I wanted to score the first play.”
Followed by junior Daryn Sebelius’ seam-splitting run up the middle.
“I actually messed up on my read,” Sebelius said. “He just stood there. I guess he tried to arm tackle me. I saw the middle and started sprinting. It was their defensive end.”
On a rain-soaked Wednesday night at Case Field, Washington turned in a dominating 49-15 win over Carlisle in the first round of the state tournament.
“It’s a rainy day, but that is Demon weather,” Coker said. “We like to play in that weather. We knew it was going to rain all day, so we expected it. We knew we were going to run the ball, and that is what we did.”
Washington had 389 yards rushing, 200 more than the Wildcats.
“Our defensive coach had the scheme to shut their veer down,” Schrader said.
All night Sebelius read the defense as Washington rushed for six scores.
“Our O-line did a good job tonight,” Coker said. “They kept their feet. They did their job and me and Daryn did ours. When we do our fakes it is really important. When (Sebelius) pulls the ball he has a chance to score. When he doesn’t, I have a chance to score.”
Senior Tanner Knupp had a 7-yard touchdown carry with 4:56 left in the first quarter to make it 21-0.
Sebelius converted a third-and-goal from the 8 to extend the lead to 28-0.
From there senior Carl Sivels had another long scoring play for Washington from 44 yards out.
Coker gave Washington a 42-0 lead at the half.
“We knew we had to start fast and finish strong; that is our motto,” Sebelius said. “I didn’t expect to be up by as much as we were. You expect close games in the playoffs.”
Washington put an exclamation on a thorough blowout with a score on the first team’s final drive. Sebelius found Knupp for an 84-yard touchdown connection.
“Big plays are our specialty,” Sebelius said. “Our offensive line is unbelievably great. They just keep working hard all season. Everything we do goes through our offensive line.”
Coker led all backs with 132 yards on just 10 carries with two scores. Sebelius had three total touchdowns with 86 yards rushing, Knupp had two touchdowns and Sivels had one.
Carlisle was held to seven passing yards.
As the season continues to progress, Schrader said his team continues to grow to the point where he is surprised by convincing wins.
“Unexpected, you watch them on film and they are a pretty good football team,” Schrader said. “Right now, over the last couple weeks, we have gotten a lot better.”
Carlisle posted 15 points as its first string had its way with Washington’s second-team defense.
“To be honest, we shut them out,” Schrader said. “They put their ones against our twos. We gave up two touchdowns late. I certainly wouldn’t do that. I don’t know what you gain from that.”
For a Washington team that predicates its offense on running the ball, the weather in the first-round game was a clear indicator how crucial a capable running attack is.
“This is what it is like in Iowa in October and November,” Schrader said. “If it is not raining, the wind is blowing or there is snow. It is so unpredictable, and that is why you have to run the football.”
After the win Washington celebrated by diving through mud and water puddles.
“Coach talks about it all the time,” Coker said. “‘When you were 6 or 7 you were out here running around with your coat off. Just act like you are 7 again.’ That is what we did.”