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Washington Football Edges Independence, Granted Another Home Playoff Matchup

Posted: Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 7:05 am
Author: KCII Sports-Nate Gonner

The Washington Demon football team faced adversity late in their playoff opener Wednesday evening at Case Field.

As you heard on FM 106.1 KCII and KCIIradio.com, the Demons hosted the Independence Mustangs in first round action of the Class 3A state playoffs yesterday evening. The matchup was the first meeting between the schools, and the first playoff appearance for the Mustangs since 1985.

After weeks of being overshadowed by the offense, it was the defense playing a huge role for the Demons as they came away with a 24-17 first round victory. Washington found early success in the running game, receiving two first half touchdowns from Jacob Henningan as the Demons led at halftime 17-11. After a scoreless third quarter, the Mustangs tied the contest early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Nick Holt to Colin Butzlaff. The extra point missed wide to the left, leaving the score tied at 17.

The game would be tied for less than two minutes as Washington came back with a short rushing touchdown from Daryn Sebellius to make the score 24-17. Independence was turned away on their final drive and last year’s state runner-up advances to Monday’s second round.

Senior linebacker Jeff Knupp was credited with the Washington County Hospital and Clinics player of the game after recording eight tackles and a fumble recovery in the victory. Knupp, who is playing football less than five months after tearing his ACL, says it was hard watching from the sideline the first seven weeks of the season.

“I never knew how I would feel later on in the season, but I always had the mindset that I was coming back. ” Knupp said, “It was just hard watching some of the close games and a couple of losses. It was just horrible.”

Since returning against Mount Pleasant, Knupp has recorded 29 total tackles (25 assisted) with two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Head coach Garrison Carter came away impressed by the Mustang football team and says they could play with any team they faced this season. “They did a really good job of taking away what we pride ourselves on doing (offensively).” Carter said, “Offensively, we want to get our guys one on one in space. We expect our guys to make someone miss and break a tackle. Credit to them, they tackled really well.”

The win improves Washington to 7-3 overall on the season, and have extended their season long winning streak to five games. Washington hosts the second round of the playoffs against the 8-2 Carlisle Wildcats. Coverage begins with the Washington Hy-Vee Pregame Show at 6:30 Monday evening on FM 106.1 and KCIIradio.com.