It was a hard fought game that took all 48 minutes to decide a winner, and it was the Demons who came out on top.
Inside the dome Washington got the ball first but seemed unsure of themselves when they first got going, going three and out as the stout Solon defense stopped the Washington advance quick. The Spartans got the ball and made a good first drive of the game including a fake punt that got them a first down. Solon held on to the ball for most of the first quarter getting into the Demon red zone, but the Demons dug in and prevented the Spartans from scoring six and made them kick a field goal from 29 yards out by Spencer Schaefer, and he wasn’t done yet.
Washington got he ball back and made a better offensive run at the Spartans, getting to about midfield when the clock ran out on the first quarter. Out of the break Washington came out and continued to try and force the ball, but Solon was having none on it, keying three guys on Coker each time and giving him no room to work, so they chose Tanner Knupp out of the diamond offense to plow through. The Spartans had about eight missed tackles in a mess of players, and out came Knupp with no one in the back field to stop him as he ran 52 yards for the touchdown and made it a 7-3 score. For the rest of the half Washington struggled on offense, but the defense kept strong again stopping Solon in the red zone and forcing a Schaefer field goal to make the score 7-6 at half.
Coming out of the half Washington kicked off to Solon and the battle continued, with the Demon defense playing shutdown as they usually do, but Solon was winning the field position game with some great punts and the Demon offense struggling. Then the worst thing that could have happened, happened. Late in the third quarter, when Mason Quigley was backed up deep in his own zone to punt, Daryn Seibelius was backed up by a Solon player, and Quigley sent the punt right off his teammate ricocheting the ball backwards. Washington recovered on the seven yard line, but it was a turn over on downs, and yet again the Demon defense was called upon to save the day, and what a day they had, stopping Solon in their tracks and forcing another field goal, this one from 26 yards to make the score 9-7.
Into the fourth quarter the score was the same, but Washington’s offense was moving, getting some good runs and getting to mid-field, when Seibelius tried to hit a streaking Thomas Bump, under threw him and was picked off for the second time on the night. The defense had already seen this situation before, get the ball back quick. Washington held Solon to three and out and made them punt away which the Demons took over on their 21 yard line, but was held to a fourth and 13. Then the most controversial call of the night happened. Mason Quigley took the snap and faked the punt running to his right side and getting five yards away from the first down marker, was tackled and fumbled the ball. It rolled forward and the ever vigilant eyes of Tanner Knupp saw it and grabbed it beyond the first down marker and got the first down for Washington. Later on the video replay it looked as though Quigley may have been down before the ball came out, but the referee’s must make real time call on the field and the ruling was Demon ball first and 10.
Washington was held once again to a third down situation, when Seibelius tosses a high ball to Thomas Bump and he comes down with a one handed grab running out of bounds. That set up the winning play as Washington went back to that pass, as Knupp streaked across the middle and Seibelius found him going 52 yards for the touchdown and the 14-9 score.
Washington forced a fumble on Solon’s next drive which drove the clock to seconds, and Solon couldn’t drive the length on their final drive.
Demon head football coach Randy Schrader said this is a testament to the great coaching especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“Daryn’s number one rule as a personal protector is to never back up, and he gave ground and he actually blocked the punt, it went off of him, but the defense comes in and does their job,” Schrader said. “Our defensive staff, Coach Hoffman, does such a great job of just getting our kids to be successful and then when we do our job, which is our mantra, when we do our job, we make some things happen.”
Washington will move on to play the No. 1 team in 3A in Bishop Heelan on Thursday. This game is at the Dome with a 7:06 start time. You can hear it right here on AM and FM KCII and KCIIradio.com under radio plus with pregame at 6:30 and kickoff at 7:06 for the class 3A State Championship.