Washington, Warriors cruise past Judges
WINCHESTER — T.J. Washington took a chance and it paid off in a big way.
The Sherando junior fielded a wobbly punt early in the Warriors’ Northwestern District football game with Handley on Saturday. Washington took it all the way for the touchdown to begin a 59-14 rout of the Judges.
“I really wasn’t thinking I was going to field the punt,” Washington said of the punt return. “I saw it bounce and it just stayed in the air. So I went for it and I scored.”
Washington’s 42-yard punt return gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
After forcing another punt, Sherando’s offense took the field for the first time. They drove 81 yards in just six plays.
Washington scored on a 67-yard run for a 14-0 lead with 4:59 left in the opening quarter.
“It was just good blocking on the play and I did the rest of it,” Washington said.
Sherando coach Bill Hall said he was a little concerned with how his team would play on a Saturday afternoon.
“Saturday games are always a little different,” Hall said. “It’s such a different atmosphere here. So I was concerned that maybe we were a little lethargic. But we started fast. They guys did a good job. For us it’s just so much about our mindset and how we approach the game each week.”
The Warriors added a 24-yard field goal by Stone Garver to stretch the lead to 17-0 with 1:14 left in the first quarter.
Sherando’s defense got into the scoring action on the next Handley drive. Sherando’s Mike Perry forced a fumble and teammate Nicholas Corbit recovered in the end zone for a 24-0 lead in the opening quarter.
“That was good to just keep it going,” Hall said. “The quicker you can build a lead the harder it is on the opponent and the more it creates momentum for you. So the more ways you can score, also the better.”
The running game racked up plenty of yards early against the Judges, which then allowed Sherando’s passing game to take center stage in the second quarter.
Sherando quarterback Hunter Entsminger threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter as the Warriors built a 52-0 halftime lead.
“Handley knew that we could run the ball too,” Entsminger said. “So that just sets up a big other aspect of our game and really helped me out a lot.”
Entsminger said his favorite touchdown pass was his 28-yard strike to tight end Will Hall with 1:02 left in the first half.
“Will’s like my best friend. So whenever he scores it’s always a big moment,” Entsminger said.
Washington finished with nine carries for 137 yards, all of which came in the first half. Entsminger was 11-for-12 for 141 yards passing. The Warriors finished the game with 467 yards of total offense.
The Warriors (6-2) play at Fauquier next week and then close the season at rival Millbrook. Entsminger said the team can still get better than what they’ve shown this year.
“I don’t really think we’ve reached our full potential yet,” Entsminger said. “I don’t think we’ve played the way we’re capable of. So I think in the coming weeks forward we should really get to the team that we should be and can be. And really just unlock the potential that we have.”