By Mike Myers
EVANSVILLE - Washington saw its football season come to an all too familiar end at the hands of perennial sectional nemesis Evansville Memorial 49-7 on Friday at Enlow Field in Sectional 24 second round action.
Washington (4-7) had been eliminated in five of the last six seasons from tourney play by Memorial (4-7), but last year the Hatchets gave the Tigers all Memorial could handle before falling 49-35. And it looked like this year might be a close contest early on as well.
Memorial quickly took a 7-0 lead on an 11-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dane Hurley on the Tigers’ first possession of game. But the Hatchets responded as senior running back Trey Parsons went 76 yards from scrimmage on the Hatchets next possession to even the score at 7-7 midway through the first quarter.
But any momentum the Hatchets hoped to get from that big play quickly evaporated on the chilly evening as Memorial’s Will Durcholtz returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, staking the Tigers to a 14-7 lead.
Memorial added a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter, both scoring strikes from Hurley to McKinley Warren (11 yards) and Matt Bitter (seven yards) as the Tigers led 28-7 at halftime.
Once again, Washington, which had nine players in street clothes on the sidelines Friday, couldn’t keep pace with the Tigers, whose roster is fully 30 players larger than the one the Hatchets fielded for the game.
“As the saying goes, you can only play 11 at a time, but they have 82 kids on their roster. We had nine guys going both ways, they only had two, and that kind of depth wears you down after a while,” said Brashear. “Their a better football team, they’re well coached, they’re very disciplined. They didn’t do anything that we didn’t practice against this entire week. But they executed, we didn’t, they’re a better football team. They play again next week, and we turn our stuff in on Monday.”
Washington had trouble sustaining drives after Parsons’ touchdown run, in no small part due to ankle and knee injuries Parsons sustained in the first half which took the Hatchet star out of the lineup for a time in the second quarter. Overall, a gutsy Parsons netted 158 yards on 18 carries though he was obviously not at 100 percent after the ankle injury. Fullback Tyler Edmiston, who has battled injuries all season as well, added 29 yards on even carries but missed much of the second half with an ankle injury. Jaden Arvin contributed 45 yards on 10 carries while spelling Parsons at tailback and then Edmiston at fullback.
Memorial added a nine-yard run by Hurley early in the third quarter to push the score to 35-7, then stretched to lead to 42-7 on a 22-yard run by Warren later in the quarter. Luke Shoulders scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter for a 49-7 Tiger lead.
Thus ended a disappointing season for Brashear’s Hatchets, who battled injuries all season long. Brashear was especially thankful for the work of a large senior class that will be missed.
“I talked to the kids, and specifically the seniors, out on the field after the game, and thanked them for all the years, the blood, sweat, and tears they’ve put into the program,” said Brashear. “I know this was a frustrating season, we had such high hopes, but it seemed like what could go wrong, did go wrong. It was frustrating for everyone involved, but not to take anything away from them. I apologized that it happened during their senior year. I really appreciate all the time those seniors put in. They were a huge part of the development of our program.”
Memorial will move on to play Gibson Southern for the sectional title next week. The Titans defeated Vincennes Lincoln in