In what turned out to be a titanic struggle after Washington seemed to have the edge early in the game, the Blue Lions held on for a 48-42 home-opening win against the Circleville Tigers Friday night at Gardner Park.
The win breaks a four-game losing streak to the Tigers.
“Our kids played hard,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “They just played hard. We had a couple injuries and we said, ‘next man up, next man up.’
“The team played resilient,” Williamson said. “I love these kids. It was a well-fought game.
“Circleville played hard,” Williamson said. “I knew coach Hinton would have them ready to play. They never quit. The kept coming at us and coming at us and our kids withstood their charge.”
The Blue Lions took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two Jarett Patton touchdown passes.
The first went to Dillon Steward for 14 yards and the second was to Kory Proby for 29 yards.
Alex Trombold’s PAT kicks made it 14-0 with 6:42 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers scored on a 23-yard pass from Brewer to Smith to make it 14-7 after one quarter of play.
The second quarter saw Washington outscore Circleville, 21-14.
Patton had a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steward, a 26-yard scoring strike to Proby and an 18-yard pass for six to Richard Burns.
Trombold’s kicks were all good.
The Tigers scored on a 71-yard pass from Brewer to Risner and a 1-yard run by Brewer.
At the half, the Blue Lions were in front, 35-21.
In the second half, the momentum seemed to swing over in favor of the Tigers.
The Blue Lions scored first, on a 61-yard interception return by Caleb Rice.
Circleville then scored three unanswered touchdowns, a 10-yard pass from Brewer to Risner, a 12-yard run by Preston Griffin and then, in the fourth quarter, another 12-yard touchdown by Griffin.
After being stymied on offense, the Blue Lions were able to put a drive together and score on an 11-yard run by Patton.
The extra-point attempt failed, leaving the door open for the Tigers with 6:18 to play in the game.
Circleville was driving and had the ball at the Blue Lion 43-yard line with 3:50 to play.
There was a fumble, caused by Kory Proby and recovered by Caleb Rice to thwart that drive and preserve the six-point lead.
Washington was able to garner one time out and ran over two minutes off the clock.
In the end, Patton had to punt back to the Tigers who set up shop at their own 20-yard line.
The Tigers hit some subtantial plays, first out to the 40-yard line and then into Blue Lion territory at the 42.
With 51 seconds remaining and the Tigers out of time outs, Circleville was able to complete another pass down to the Blue Lions 24-yard line.
The first play in the next series was an incomplete pass, still leaving 41 seconds on the scoreboard clock.
Brewer went back to pass and heaved the ball into the end zone.
Conner Chrisman leapt into the air and came down with the interception in the end zone.
Washington had to run one play and then time expired as Washington improves to 2-0 on the season.
The Blue Lions are at London next week.
Circleville (0-2) takes on Westfall next week.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1