The Washington High School football team finally got over the playoff hump and won its first WPIAL championship since 2001.
The Little Prexies put together their fourth consecutive undefeated regular season but in the previous three failed to get to the WPIAL championship game. This year, the Prexies dominated the competition in the Century Conference before handling Freedom, East Allegheny and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in the postseason to reach the WPIAL title game against Steel Valley, which had a 26-game winning streak.
After playing to a 10-10 stalemate in the first half, Wash High dominated the final 24 minutes and won 37-10 at Robert Morris University’s Joe Walton Stadium. Washington’s Isaiah Schoonmaker made a crucial goal-line tackle on fourth down in the first quarter, blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown in the third, ran 68 yards for a score later in the third and caught a four-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
Washington’s attempt to win its second PIAA championship ended a week later with a wild 49-42 loss to Wilmington in the semifinals. The Prexies committed four costly turnovers in that game.
Washington running back Nick Welsh had a memorable season running behind the Prexies’ large and athletic offensive line. Welsh led all WPIAL classifications in rushing with 2,324 yards and 32 touchdowns. He ran for more than 100 yards in each of the Prexies’ 14 games and scored at least one touchdown in every game. Welsh averaged an amazing 11.62 yards per carry and was named the Observer-Reporter Player of the Year.