By Mike Myers
VINCENNES — VINCENNES - Washington was unable to spoil the homecoming of archrival Vincennes as the Alices claimed a 34-15 win in Big 8 Conference football action on Friday.
Washington (0-7, 0-5) started strong defensively as Vincennes (2-5, 2-2) netted just 11 yards and a pair of first downs on their first two possessions of the game. Defensive lineman James Sidebottom came up with a pair of tackles for loss early for the Hatchets, while nose guard Max Lancaster and cornerback Jansen Shake also made big plays for the Washington defensive unit. Travis Harper would also add strong play from the nose guard position after replacing an injured Lancaster in the Hatchet lineup later in the contest.
“From a defensive standpoint, aside from a couple of busted plays that turned into scores for them, I was proud of how our defense played,” said Washington coach Kelly Brashear. “Especially in the first two series. I thought we were very physical, we attacked them in the backfield two or three times and gave them second and long and third and long and made them punt a couple of times.”
But a Hatchet fumble deep in Washington territory late in the first quarter set up Vincennes for a short touchdown drive that ended with Tyjaun Hawkins carrying in from 15 yards out. Mikie Boger’s extra point put the Alices up 7-0 with 11:53 left in the first half.
The Hatchets responded, though, with perhaps their finest drive of the season. Jake Brashear marched WHS 75 yards in 16 plays, including six first downs and pair of fourth down conversions. A Brashear pass to Austin Moody on fourth-and-10 at the Vincennes 13 coupled with a personal foul call on the Alices gave WHS a first-and-goal at the Lincoln one. Fullback Edrwin Revolorio bulled his way into the end zone on the next play, and Moody’s extra point tied the score at 7-7 5:02 before halftime.
But the Hawkins’ scoring run earlier in the quarter woke up the Vincennes offense. Two plays after Revolorio’s touchdown, Hawkins reached pay dirt again, this time on a 63-yard scamper to give Vincennes a 14-7 lead.
A three-and-out by the Hatchets returned the ball to Vincennes with 2:01 on the clock. That was plenty of time for the Alices, who picked up 67 yards on three running plays, the last being a 23-yard run by Hawkins with 1:09 left in the half. Hawkins finished the half with 103 yards rushing after losing a combined 11 yards on his first two carries as the Alices led 21-7 heading into the locker room.
The second half didn’t start any better for the Hatchets. Hawkins picked off a Brashear pass on Washington’s second play from scrimmage after intermission, setting up the Alices at the WHS 25. The score reached 27-7 four plays later when Vincennes quarterback Grant Oexmann hit Brandt Nowaskie for 22 yards and a touchdown on fourth down. Nowaskie would add a four-yard touchdown run for Vincennes in the fourth quarter.
Aside from their first half scoring drive, the Hatchets had trouble moving the ball until the fourth quarter, when Washington finished off a long scoring drive with a three-yard scoring run by Jaden Arvin with :07 left in the game. Washington actually out gained Vincennes 269-246, but 112 of those yards came in the fourth quarter when the Hatchets were facing the Alices’ second team defense.
“Offensively, we had too many penalties (eight penalties for 65 yards), we just keep killing ourselves. We’re our own worst enemy on offense right now,” said Brashear. “That was real disappointing. I felt like coming into this game we would be able to move the ball at will. And we struggled for everything tonight.”
Arvin finished with 141 yards on 32 carries, while Brashear topped the 100-yard mark with 106 yards on 10-15 passing. Moody, Tyler Summers, Shake, and Dalton Devine each caught a pair of passes from Brashear while Luke Thornton and Tyler Guy caught one pass apiece.
Washington returns home on Friday to host Jasper.