Washington downs California in non-conference play
Written by: Colin Kirkwood on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
The California Trojans had their work cut out for them starting the season with a (1-1) 1-3 record after a 12-1 season last year. The pressure to continue the hype after a season like that is always high, but no one could’ve expected a start to the season like the Trojans have endured. However, things weren’t going to get any easier with the Washington Prexies (2-1) 3-1 coming to town. Washington was also coming off a storied season, finishing 15-2 and falling in the state semifinals. Regardless, this matchup promised to be a clash of titans between classes 1A and 2A.
Washington would open the scoring first when Junior QB Zach Swartz would drop a 51-yard dime to Junior WR Zahmere Robinson halfway through the first quarter of action. The first quarter would come to a close without a response from the Trojans however, they would find the end zone early in the second with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Trojans Senior QB Austin Grillo that landed in the arms of Sophomore WR Cochise Ryan. Cal would attempt a two-point conversion that would ultimately fail, bringing the score to 7-6.
The Prexies wouldn’t skip a beat when Swartz would toss another touchdown, this time to senior WR Dan Walker. Washington would increase their lead to 14-6 with plenty of time remaining in the first half. Cal would draw close in the waning moments of that same half with another touchdown from Grillo, who opted to rush for the score. The Trojans would fail on another two-point conversion attempt, and the score would read 14-12 at the half, still in favor of the Prexies.
Cal’s centerpiece on offense Senior RB Jelani Stafford would give the Trojans the lead in the third quarter, with a 28-yard scamper into the end zone raising the score 18-14. However, the Prexies would respond on the next drive scoring immediately after receiving the ball with a rushing touchdown from Junior RB Dylan Ashbury. Washington would snatch the lead back with that score, making the scoreboard read 21-18. Schwartz would again make the Trojan defense pay, with short touchdown pass to Senior WR Casimuir Johnson, increasing the Prexie lead to 28-18. This would be the final score of the third quarter, but the offense was far from over.
Cal would draw close with another touchdown rush from Grillo making the score 28-25 after the extra point, with Washington still holding the lead and nine minutes remaining in the contest. Swartz would add another touchdown to his day by rushing 34 yards for the score, giving Washington some breathing room on the scoreboard, 34-25. The Prexies would attempt a two-point conversion of their own and fail, keeping their total at 34 points with five minutes remaining.
The Trojan offense would cough up the ball on their 44-yard line after failing on a fourth down attempt giving Washington the ball with few minutes remaining in the game. Washington would tack on one more score with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Swartz to Senior TE Isaiah Walton. After the extra point Washington would lead 41-25 which is what the score would remain as the Prexies would secure the victory.
Stafford would rush for 136 yards in the California loss, which would sink their record to (1-1) 1-4. The Trojans will be in action again next Friday against the Tri-County South leading West Greene Pioneers (4-0) 4-1. Washington on the other hand would improve to (2-1) 4-1 on the year and will travel to face the Century Conference member Carmichaels Mighty Mikes (0-4) 0-4 next Friday.
A full replay of the game is available on YouTube on CUTVSports1, and highlights will be shown on the Tuesday edition of CUTV’s High School Football Roundup show which will also be uploaded to the same YouTube channel on Tuesday.
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