REPUBLIC – Entering the season, the Washington High School football team emphasized being better on defense.
After a year in which the Prexies allowed the most points per game since their 2010 season, the improvements to be made were evident.
There wasn’t a better place to start than up front with returning starters Gerald Comedy, Chase Mitchell and reigning Interstate Conference lineman MVP Zakhi Marshall.
“It starts up front,” Marshall said. “We set the tone. Whatever our energy is, that will determine the energy for the rest of the team.”
It was never more symbolic than Friday night when Marshall busted through the line of scrimmage on a bull rush and made a tackle in the backfield on a fourth-and-two play for Brownsville.
Setting the tone from the start, Washington’s big defensive line swallowed the Falcons whole and the Prexies’ offense found its footing in the second quarter to rout Brownsville, 44-7, in a Class 2A Interstate Conference game at Redstone Field.
It was the 100th victory for coach Mike Bosnic at Washington.
“We definitely knew we had to improve (defensively),” Bosnic said. “We have some guys up front, and we want to dominate. Overall, we are better. We are tackling much better. We still made mistakes tonight and have things to clean up.”
How good was the Washington (2-0, 4-0) defense against the Falcons?
The Prexies allowed only 35 total yards before their starters were pulled. In that time, Brownsville (1-1, 2-2) had only two first downs – one solely off a pair of simultaneous Washington penalties – and were held scoreless despite multiple drives that started in good field position.
“We have to go out and punch people in the mouth,” Marshall said. “I feel like we punched them in the mouth. We set that tone. We did great.”
Washington’s offense eventually matched the defense after a choppy first quarter. The Prexies scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, including two touchdown passes from Zack Swartz to Zahmere Robinson.
Robinson, who toe-tapped in the corner of the end zone to catch the opening score with 8:04 left in the first quarter, hauled in a 12-yard touchdown while getting drilled by a torpedoing safety. Robinson then ended the scoring in the first half when he caught a Swartz pass, weaved in and out of traffic and went 70 yards for another touchdown to give Washington a 38-0 lead with 1:48 left in the second quarter.
Robinson had four receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns, his last making the clock run continuously in the second half because of the Mercy Rule.
Swartz needed only one minute and 12 seconds to lead the Prexies’ final three scores in the first half. Those drives lasted 42, 17 and 13 seconds.
Swartz finished 10 of 16 passing with 228 yards and four touchdowns. He also had seven carries for 75 yards and another score.
In their first four games, the Prexies have allowed only 21 first-half points.
“We have had a lot of success over the last several years. We’ve created expectations,” Bosnic said. “I’m just proud to be a part of the great tradition that we have.”