Something to smile aboutWashington's defense shuts down Centerville on Senior Night
Senior Tyler Ousey had a wide grin on his face following Washington’s 42-0 win over Centerville.
Ousey, a defensive tackle, was part of a Demon defense that completely shut down the Big Reds on Friday night.
“I only play defense, so a shutout to me is exactly what I want,” Ousey said.
Ousey, who missed Washington’s first six games this year after injuring his ankle prior to the season, had his best performance yet. After he and 11 other seniors were honored prior to the game, he went out and totaled four tackles, including two sacks.
“It feels so good,” Ousey said of getting to the quarterback. “I can’t describe it. I haven’t wiped the smile off my face yet.”
Ousey and the Demon defense limited the Big Reds to 99 yards in the game, including just four on the ground.
And while Washington’s offense wasn’t as dominant as it had been in blowout wins over Mt. Pleasant and Fort Madison the two weeks before — thanks in part to the muddy Case Field turf — it still scored enough to blow out Centerville.
Washington (6-3, 5-1 Class 3A District 7) scored on the fourth play of the game when sophomore quarterback Daryn Sebelius faked the handoff and ran 35 yards for a touchdown.
Centerville (1-8, 1-5 District 7) went three-and-out on its first possession, and then the Demons drove for another score. Senior Kyle Roder’s 1-yard touchdown run put the Demons up 13-0 just over five minutes into the game.
But Washington didn’t score again until junior Carl Sivels ran for a 12-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter.
“Once we got up 13-0, I think our kids thought, ‘Well, we’ll just take our foot off the pedal and we’re going to be fine.’ And then Centerville kept playing,” Washington head coach Randy Schrader said. “We played down. We’re still not there when it comes to playing at our level. That’s a culture thing that we’ve got to work on.”
Centerville, forced to punt from its own 3-yard line, snapped the ball over punter Garrett Moorman’s head and out of the end zone for a safety, and Washington led 22-0 at halftime.
Washington scored two touchdowns in a span of 16 seconds in the third quarter to put the game away. After junior Alex Coker ran for a 12-yard touchdown, junior Tanner Knupp stripped the ball from Centerville junior Grant Walker on the ensuing kickoff, and senior Mitchell Hora recovered. Sebelius threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Knupp on the next play to put the Demons up 36-0.
Sophomore Brad Skubal’s 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped the 42-0 win.
Washington totaled 274 yards of offense on a sloppy night. Coker rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and Knupp added 69 yards on nine attempts. Sebelius ran for 33 yards and was 3-for-4 passing for 19 yards and a touchdown. Sivels rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
The victory capped a surprising regular season for the Demons.
“Outside of probably the people sitting in that locker room, our players, nobody thought we were going to be 6-3,” Schrader said. “So we’re the quintessential overachieving team. We went 6-3, and I don’t think anybody gave us a snowball’s chance to do that. That’s a credit to our kids and a credit to our coaches. Our coaching staff has done a nice job since last October of getting our kids ready to play.”
Washington lost 11 seniors — many of whom were explosive athletes — from last year’s squad to graduation. But Washington’s 12 seniors stepped up this year, which showed on Senior Night, and the younger players gained experience quickly.
“We had a lot of babies this year,” Schrader said. “And a decent senior class, and their leadership was good. We’ve had some ups and downs, and they’ve done a good job of rallying around each other.”
The Demons head into the playoffs as a No. 2 seed, which means they will host No. 10 Norwalk on Wednesday night at Case Field. Tickets will go on sale at the high school athletic office starting at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
“Now we’re in the show,” Schrader said. “Now we’ve got an opportunity. We’re legitimate state championship contenders.”
That’s something to smile about.