By Matt Bryant, The JOURNAL
Football, as the saying goes, is a game of momentum. Friday?s first round playoff game between Washington and Davenport Assumption was a roller coaster of momentum swings.
Unfortunately, for the Demons, the momentum stopped swinging on the wrong sideline.
Assumption used a 10-point run in the first 3:15 of the game, and a 14-point run in the last 3:15 to come away with a closer than it looks 45-28 win.
The Knights started fast with a Jayce Levy 93-yard touchdown on the opening kick. The Demons did not start so fast. It lost an opening possession fumble the Knights converted into a field goal for an early 10-point lead. Levy, the Knights quarterback, passed for 152 yards and ran for 183 more to tally over 400 yards of offense for the game.
Then Washington got it going with a potent passing attack. Luke Turner found Jaivonn Willis for three touchdown passes of 26, 46 and 36 yards respectively. The third Turner to Willis connection came immediately after a Cade Hennigan interception. The Demons were up 11 with 7:11 left in the second quarter.
?It was an extremely hard-fought game with ups and downs on both sides. It was everything you want to see in a playoff football game,? said Washington Head Coach Garrison Carter, ?There were big plays by big-time players on both sides of the ball.?
Assumption added a passing touchdown of its own before the half. Washington went into the break leading 21-17.
Two third quarter Assumption scores on 30-yard and 15-yard touchdown scampers put the Knights up 10 before the third quarter ended.
Neither team seemed to want control in a crazy seven-minute stretch that bridged the third and fourth quarter.
Turner threw an interception at his own 28-yard line. The Washington defense held and turned Assumption over on downs before Ryan Reighard jump-started the next Demon drive with a 56-yard run from the quarterback spot. Washington marched to Assumption?s 9-yard line before a fumble turned the ball over. The defense once again proved big and forced an Assumption fumble on the two. Jack Redlinger took advantage and took the ball into the end zone.
The Demons were down three, 28-31, with 6:17 left in the game. The Knights had an answer. A touchdown pitch and catch with 3:15 left made the Demons? chances small. An interception and 70-yard touchdown run by Levy sealed it.
?Losing Friday night doesn?t take anything away from this group and their tremendous season. They faced so much adversity, and continued to rise above it.? said Carter. ?They have been a joy to coach and the seniors have played a huge role in continuing to solidify the culture we want in this program. They will be tremendously missed.?
Turner finished the game 8 for 17 passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Willis hauled in all three touchdowns plus three other catches for 132 yards total.
Turner also led Washington with 80 rushing yards, Redlinger finished with 70 yards rushing. Washington totaled 402 yards of offense.
Reighard contributed 67 yards of rushing and led the defense with 11 tackles. Redlinger recorded three tackles for loss.
Washington finishes its season with an 8-2 overall record. The only two losses came at the hands of Solon and Assumption. Both teams are still alive in the playoff hunt.