Washington freshmen finish season with a win over Centerville
The Washington freshman football team rushed for 353 yards as it closed the season with a 38-28 win over Centerville on Oct. 19 at Case Field.
Bryce Rickey rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries, while Jack Giardino and Ethan Hansen both added 86 yards and a score.
Centerville fumbled on its first possession, and the Demons took advantage when Rickey ran for a 5-yard touchdown and added the two-point conversion. Giardino ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, and he also ran for a two-point conversion to put Washington ahead 16-0.
But just when it appeared that the Demons were going to roll to victory, the Big Reds responded with back-to-back touchdowns, the second coming after they stopped Washington on a fourth-and-long play deep in Demon territory.
“We had decided before the game we weren’t going to punt,” Washington head coach Jay Zieglowsky said. “We decided we were going to take a few risks, do what we could do to win the game, and have fun.”
Hansen ran for a 14-yard touchdown to push Washington’s lead to 22-14, but the Big Reds returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. Then Centerville threw a long touchdown pass to go ahead 28-22.
But Rickey ran for a 60-yard touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half, and Rickey ran for the two-point conversion to put Washington ahead 30-28 at the break.
“I was going to take a knee, but I decided, ‘Let’s run a play,’” Zieglowsky said. “And he ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run.”
After the two teams combined for 58 points in the first half, Rickey’s 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Giardino’s two-point conversion run were the only points of the second half, as the Demons held on to win 38-28.
Hansen led the Demon defense with nine tackles. Giardino made four stops and recovered a fumble, and Mitchell Kelly made three tackles.
The Washington freshman football team finished the season with a record of 3-6.
“There was a lot of improvement made,” Zieglowsky said. “These kids are going to be good contributors to our football program in the future.”
While discussing his team’s improvement, Zieglowsky pointed to the team’s performance over the final three games of the season.
“One thing that really showed the improvement that they made is the last three weeks we ran for 289, 351 and 353 yards,” he said. “Those last three games we only threw 11 passes for two yards. That shows the improvement these guys made that they could run for 300-plus yards the last three games. I think these guys have a bright future. I enjoyed coaching them.”