Special teams helps lead way for Warriors in rout
STEPHENS CITY — T.J. Washington was happily surprised on Friday night.
The Sherando junior admitted after Friday’s 77-7 victory over Broadway that he was a little surprised that the Gobblers kept punting the ball right to him during the first half.
Washington ran two punts back for touchdowns and almost had a third one.
“If it was me I wouldn’t kick me the ball, because I can do some dangerous things,” Washington said. “They kept kicking it to me and I scored.”
After forcing Broadway to a three-and-out to start the game, Washington returned a punt 50 yards to the Broadway 31-yard line.
Two plays later Washington scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Sherando junior quarterback Hunter Entsminger. From there the rout was on.
Washington had a 45-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the opening quarter. He added another one in the second quarter from 55 yards out. He finished the game with four punt returns for 170 yards.
“He’s a dynamic player,” Sherando coach Bill Hall said of Washington’s punt returns. “He’s got 10 other guys working really hard for him. They give him a chance that he can make it. So again that’s a credit to the unit. But obviously he’s very gifted.”
Washington finished the game with 339 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
Sherando scored 28 points in the first quarter, and then added 42 more in the second to take a commanding 70-0 edge at halftime.
The Warriors were sharp in every phase of the game. On offense they ran for 288 yards and passed for 139 yards. The defense had two interceptions, three quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery.
Sherando (3-0) held Broadway (0-3) to only 103 yards of offense, while the Warriors finished with 427.
Hall said he was very happy with how the players stayed focused throughout the game despite the lopsided score.
“Even if you’re a little bit better team you can’t just show up,” Hall said. “You have to approach it from the right mindset and emotional standpoint to physically do it. And sometimes that’s a huge challenge. So I was proud of the way we approached the game. We talk a lot about focusing on the things that we can control. And in that situation it doesn’t matter who your opponent is, you have to approach it with the right mindset and physicality and be all in. And I think our guys did a good job with that.”
Entsminger was 5-for-6 passing for 139 yards and three touchdowns. Washington had 136 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Tight end Will Hall had one reception for 62 yards and a touchdown to lead the receivers.
Payne Bauer led the way defensively with eight tackles, including a sack.
The Warriors are now averaging 65 points a game in their first three contests.
Next week Sherando will face its toughest opponent yet as they host Loudoun Valley.
“Last year was a bit of a rough spot,” Entsminger said. “This year coming out 3-0, three good wins. And we need to build off of it.”