Warriors race to early lead, pound Patriots
STEPHENS CITY – Sherando High School’s T.J. Washington and Aaron Banks both denied there was much built-up frustration after dropping a pair of close losses in the first two weeks of the season, but the Warriors certainly played like a team with something to prove Friday night.
Washington, a sophomore running back, exploded for five touchdowns in the first quarter en route to a six-touchdown performance against visiting Washington High School (West Virginia), and Sherando rolled to a 71-13 blowout win in non-conference action to pick up its first win of the season.
The Warriors (1-2), who finished with 435 yards of total offense while holding the Patriots to 90 yards, scored touchdowns on their first three offensive plays of the game and consistently enjoyed short fields.
“It was kind of exciting because usually we’re not that explosive,” said T.J. Washington, who had 14 carries for 148 yards and five rushing touchdowns, all in the first half. “But it was kind of fun.”
The shifty sophomore tailback gave Sherando an immediate jolt after the Patriots (0-3) were forced to punt after six plays on their first possession, as he took a punt 50 yards down to the 1-yard line. T.J. Washington scored on the next play to put the Warriors up 7-0 with 10:12 left in the first quarter.
T.J. Washington wouldn’t come up short on his second punt return, as he raced 53-yards to the end zone to put the Warriors up 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
“I thought our special teams were going to be explosive tonight,” Sherando coach Bill Hall said. “I thought that was something that if we could get them to kick to us or punt … I thought it’d be good. That unit is a strong unit for us and they’ve been good all year.”
Banks snagged the first of four first-quarter interceptions thrown by Patriots quarterback Matt Grant (12 for 31, 110 yards, one touchdown) on the next drive when he jumped a curl route, and Jacquari Hayes turned a jet sweep into a 21-yard touchdown on the next play.
Sherando linebacker JoJo Doleman made a diving pick on Washington’s next possession after teammate Nathan Wagner popped the pass loose with a timely hit on a Patriots receiver. That set up Hunter Entsminger’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Banks, who got behind the Patriot defense to put the Warriors up 28-0 with 6:10 still left in the opening quarter.
“It was exciting tonight. When everybody’s working together like that it’s really fun out there,” said Banks, who had two interceptions.
“Everybody was just clicking today. Coach Hall set us up with some good plays and we executed.”
Banks’ second pick on the Patriots’ next play gave the ball right back to Sherando at the Washington 27. A 26-yard pass from Entsminger (3 of 3, 78 yards) to Hayes set up T.J. Washington’s 1-yard plunge over the goal line.
Wagner’s interception at the Patriot 34 set up a five-play scoring drive that ended with a 6-yard score by T.J. Washington, and the sophomore put Sherando up 49-0 in the first quarter with a 71-yard race to the end zone with 41 seconds left in the quarter. T.J. Washington took the handoff and allowed a hole to open on the left side of the line before darting through and up the sideline, juking a defender at the Patriot 40 along the way.
“To be honest, it wasn’t even me. it was my line. They did everything,” said T.J. Washington, who also had a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown called back by a penalty in the fourth quarter. “When I got to the second level it was on me but the line and all the wide receivers, they were basically doing it. I just did my part.”
T.J. Washington scored for the sixth time midway through the second quarter on a 14-yard run before Sherando began using its second-string offense up 56-0.
A safety on a sack by Nicholas Corbit and a Wagner (9 carries, 87 yards) 18-yard touchdown run put the Warriors up 65-0 heading into halftime.
“It’s not something you enjoy,” Hall said of the lopsided score. “You wanna give your kids opportunities when they play because they’ve earned it in practice, but you also don’t wanna humiliate the other team by any means. We try to do it the proper way.”
Sherando, which passed only three times in the win, finished with 357 yards rushing on 43 carries (8.3 yards per carry).
Kolby Schlag scored on a 5-yard run on the Warriors’ first drive of the third quarter to put Sherando up 71-0.
The Patriots finally got on the board with a 37-yard scoring drive set up by a Sherando fumble in the fourth quarter. Grant hit senior Gavin Maccubbin (five catches, 37 yards) for a 23-yard touchdown pass.
A 37-yard fumble return by Washington’s Tyson Lincoln capped the scoring with 2:33 to play.
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Warriors 71, Patriots 13
Washington (W.Va.) 0 0 0 13 – 13
Sherando 49 16 6 0 – 71
S: Washington 1 run (Sites kick), 10:12.
S: Washington 53 punt return (Sites kick), 7:40.
S: Hayes 21 run (Sites kick), 7:20.
S: Banks 40 pass from Entsminger (Sites kick), 6:10.
S: Washington 1 run (Sites kick), 5:26.
S: Washington 6 run (Sites kick), 4:06.
S: Washington 71 run (Sites kick), 0:41.
S: Washington 22 run (Sites kick), 7:19.
S: Safety, 6:15.
S: Wagner 18 run (Sites kick), 1:18.
S: Shlag 5 run (kick failed), 6:28.
W: Maccubbin 23 pass from Grant (Delawder kick), 8:40.
W: Lincoln 37 fumble return (kick failed), 2:33.
First downs 4 11
Rushes-yards 11-(-20) 4-357
Passing yards 110 78
Comp.-Att.-TD-INT 12-31-1-4 3-3-78-1-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 4-20 9-88
Punts-avg. 4-35.0 0-0
RUSHING: Washington, Delawder 3-3, Silver 5-3, Grant 3-(-26); Sherando, Washington 14-148, Hayes 1-21, Entsminger 1-20, Wagner 9-87, Schlag 10-49, Pangle 8-32.
PASSING: Washington, Grant 12-31-110-1-4; Sherando, Entsminger 3-3-78-1-0.
RECEIVING: Washington, Maccubbin 5-37, Delawder 1-1, Spuria 1-6, Jackson 2-27, Silver 1-31, Reed 1-6, Hawkins 1-6.