Washington celebrates Heroes Night with first triumph of season

By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports


Often the back of a player?s jersey will have the team name or the player?s name.

Friday at Case Field in Washington?s high school football game game against the visitors from Iowa City Liberty, the "names" on the back of the Demons? special jerseys that were black with camouflage on the sleeves were pride, honor, respect, valor, and loyalty. The reason was Heroes Night as numerous organizations like the police and fire departments were honored as well as the military.

The Demons used that impetus to jump out to a 27-0 halftime lead on the way to a 35-19 triumph.

If there is an exciting way to get a team?s first win of the season, the Demons did it in style.

The Demons saw quarterback Luke Turner get a 37-yard-rushing touchdown and three aerial scores to fashion that 27-0 halftime lead.

?It feels great, it's awesome to get the win,? Turner said.

Liberty got a rushing TD from Kaleb Williams on its first drive of the second half, but Cade Hennigan?s second receiving TD of the night and Turner?s fourth passing score gave the home team a 35-6 advantage.

?I think the very last one to Cade was definitely a dagger,? Turner said.

Turner completed 12 of 18 for 210 yards and four TDs with no interceptions and rushed 14 times for 55 yards and another touchdown.

?Going in we wanted to run, but we just did what they gave us, which was the pass,? Turner said. ?The receivers did a really good job of finding space and the O-line gave me plenty of time to make something happen.?

That offensive line helped the Demons amass 343 yards of offense.

The first Demon offensive series saw a fumble and a punt after three plays. The second series saw a penalty and an incompletion but a harbinger of the night saw a 16-yard completion to Chase McDole on third-and-14. Then a 7-yard completion was followed by Turner running straight up the middle shedding tacklers, breaking outside for a 37-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes, 50 seconds left in the first quarter.

?I think that (first TD) gave us a lot of confidence,? Turner said. ?I really think it helped to get that first score early.?

Wilx Witthoft?s sack forced a punt on Liberty?s next possession.

The Demons marched methodically downfield, picking up two fourth-down conversions on a 65-yard, 17-play drive that ended on a slant pass from the 15 to Chase McDole for a 14-0 lead with 9:26 left in the first half.

Just to show off some versatility, the next drive was one play -- a 78-yard bomb from Turner to Ethan Hunt down the far sideline. With 5:32 left, it was 21-0.

The Demons? Wyatt Stout recovered a fumble at the Lightning 13 on the ensuing kickoff and Turner found Hennigan open in the middle of the end zone for a 27-0 lead.

Hennigan then added another pass reception to all the other ones on the night, but this one was thrown by the Liberty quarterback. However, a sack ended that Demon possession.

Liberty took the second-half kickoff and gave the ball to Kaleb Wiliams for seven of the 11 plays it took to score a TD for a 27-6 deficit.

The teams exchanged punts before Hennigan scored on a pass reception. It was second-and-6 from the 17 when he snagged the ball in the flat, caught a block, juked a defender, then stretched the ball over the goal line for a TD while being tackled.

?That was the best one,? Turner said of his four aerial TDs. ?It was supposed to be a sweep to the right, but I had to improvise. Cade did a really good job of finding space, so that I could get him the ball and after that, he just made a play.?

Turner ran in the conversion for a 35-5 advantage with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

Liberty added two fourth-quarter scores as numerous back-ups saw action for the Demons.

The play that repeatedly got yards for Washington was a run/pass option.

?We saw them crashing down, so we just did what they gave us and that was the pass,? Turbner said. ?It worked really well for us.?

Hennigan finished with three receptions for 40 yards. Brady Knutson and Chase McDole had four catches each. Tristin Westphal-Edwards had 15 rushes for 58 yards and led the defense with seven tackles. Trashaun Willis was responsible for six stops and Ben Baughman 5.5 with two solo tackles for loss.

Iowa City Liberty, which got its first-ever varsity win last week, falls to 1-2.

Washington is 1-2 and plays West Liberty for Homecoming Friday.