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Washington powers by Albia - Albia Newspapers: Sports

Washington powers by Albia

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Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 2:08 pm

You look at a 64-7 score and suggest the team on the losing end showed improvement, and most people would say you were crazy. But that’s the way it rolled out in Albia’s second loss of the season.

“We played a lot better offensively,” said Coach Scott Farrington. “It helped that we moved a guy out to flanker, which gave Cade a little more time to pass. Our offensive line got off the ball a lot better and we showed a lot more discipline.”

The Blue Demons played a far superior Class 3A powerhouse than the week before when the team struggled in a loss to Class A Pekin. Where the team had a net 103 yards loss in Week Zero against Pekin, Albia had 19 yards rushing against Washington against a huge Demon line. And junior fullback Jer McAninch ran hard for 38 yards. There were some sacks for negative yardage, but the offensive line surge was there most of the night.

“This was a really good team,” said Coach Farrington. “Their quarterbacks ran like tailbacks behind a huge line.”

The Blue Demon defense struggled against what can only be described as a Division III sized Washington offensive line. A stable of talented runners led by tailback Luke Turner’s 116 yards on seven carries and quarterback Ryan Reighard’s 47 yards on seven carries led a 342 yard rushing night. Jack Redlinger had another 46 yards and Garett Ikerd had 33 and Javonn Willis two for 17.

A quarterback read and run up the middle of the field caused Albia all kinds of problems, even when Washington’s reserve quarterback was in. So did special teams play. Washington receiver and return man, Willis ran back a punt 76 yards for a score. Willis was sensational in the relatively few plays he was in on. He ran back the first kickoff to the Albia 30 and scored the first touchdown of the game on a 12-yard run with 10:28 left.

He scored again on a 26-yard pass play from Reighard and later passed to Jack Redlinger for a two-point conversion to make the score 50-0 at the half.

But even at that, the Blue Demons were much better running their new pistol offense. On Albia’s first possession, Cade Crall hit Tyler Stringfellow for a three-yard gain, gain three on a run and picked up a first down with a five-yard pass to Jon Gualtieri. Crall completed a five-yard pass to Nate Crall for five yards, but a blitzing linebacker sacked Crall and forced a punt.

Reighard gained eight, Turner 10 and Reighard eight more before he scored from nine yards out. The kick was blocked and Washington led 13-0 with 5:57 left in the first quarter.

A bad snap on Albia’s next series turned the ball back to Washington and Tristin Edwards scored on a 13-yard run. The two-point run by Reighard was good and the Demons led 21-0 with 5:40 left.

Albia got some help on a personal foul and started at the 45. McAninch had his first solid run of the season, but Albia was forced to punt. Willis fielded the punt and ran it back 76 yards to make the score 28-0 with 4:22 left.

Albia came out on the next series and McAninch popped through the line for 15 yards and a first down. A couple of penalties on Washington gave Albia another first down, Crall hit Crall for five yards and McAninch ran for four to set up a fourth and one at the 43. Shawn Good carried for a yard, but it was inches short of the first down.

Washington took over at the 43 and scored on a pass from Reighard to Willis from 26 yards out. Albia took over trailing 35-0, netted a minus five yards and punted as the quarter ended. Turner ran for 30 and a facemask set up a first and goal at the five. Tanner Murphy scored from the one and Washington led 42-0 with 11:07 left in the half.

The Blue Demons had their best drive of the night starting at the 20. Tratchel ran for one and then Crall hit Stringfellow for a yard gain. He went back to Gualtieri for seven yards. Shawn Good looked to pick up the first down on a fourth and one, fumbled, picked it up and made the distance at the 42. Crall gained one, McAninch gained one and Gualtieri made a diving grab for six yards at the 50.

Albia went for it again on a fourth and two and this time Crall threw to tackle eligible Trent Garver, surprising the Demons. But the ball was just out of reach for the biggest receiver in the history of Albia football.

Washington took over at the 50 and scored in seven plays from the five. A two-point pass made it 50-0 with 4:17 left in the half. Albia went four and out, punted and Washington moved to the Albia 19.

Second Half

The Demons didn’t play their first team in the second half, but their reserves would beat most Class 2A teams. Albia came out with the ball and moved efficiently up the field. Crall his Nate Crall for seven, found Stringfellow for eight gained five and a first down to the 47 and handed to McAninch for four to the 48. The drive stalled and Albia punted.

Garver had replaced Tratchel as the team’s punter after Tratchel injured his wrist. Garver’s punt rolled to the six. Washington had runs of 12, 12, 12 and eight to the 49 before what looked like an obvious fumble recovery by Albia was ruled an incomplete pass and Luke Turner took a quarterback keep to the house. The kick made it 57-0 as the third quarter ended.

The Blue Demons moved from their 26 with McIninch picking up 12 to the 38 and Crall hitting Stringfellow with a 58-yard pass to the four. The senior quarterback took the ball around end for the score.

The Demons would score once more behind runs of 10, 12 and 30 yards. Albia would have one more possession that ended at mid-field.

Crall finished the night completing nine of 18 passes for 106 yards. Pete Sarver completed one pass for seven yards. Stringfellow had three catches for 69, Gualtieri had three for 19 and Nathan Crall three for 18.

Dawnson Hermsen led Albia in tackles with seven, Stringfellow had six and Nathan Crall six.

“I thought Cade made great improvement at quarterback, finding open receivers,” said Coach Farrington. “Our tight end, Jon Gualtieri may be a little unorthodox, but he has great hands and made three really difficult catches. Jer McAninch made huge strides from week zero to week one.

“We saw a lot of improvement at about every position,” said Coach Farrington. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but despite the score, we were really encouraged.”

Tratchel suffered a severely sprained wrist and will be in a soft cast when he plays defense Friday. Pete Sarver is also a little banged up with a sore hip.

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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