The bright lights of Friday night shone on McClain Field in this, week 9, of high school football. Week 9 saw the Tigers of McClain enter the game at 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the Frontier Athletic Conference and coming off a tough loss to Chillicothe. The Blue Lions hoped to continue their winning ways for another week as they defeated Hillsboro the past Friday night, setting their record at 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the FAC.
With the Blue and Purple game circled on the calendar every year and the game becoming more of a rivalry, each team was visibly fired up as they ran out onto the field to start the game. It’s in these games where the records can be set aside because anything can happen. Tonight, however, there was not to be any heroics or last-minute drama.
The Blue Lions started the contest, kicking off to #17 Matt Bliss for the Tigers. While the Tigers did not go three and out of their first possession (a problem that has plagued them all year) it wasn’t long before Washington forced a punt. The first series for the Blue Lions ended the same way and they punted the ball back to the Tigers. On McClain’s second possession, they were unable to move the ball against a tough Washington defense and promptly punted the ball back to the Blue Lions.
With six minutes to go in the first quarter, Washington QB #7 Ethan Rogers-Wright said that is enough. Not wanting a punting contest all night, Wright heaved a 36-yard strike downfield to #18 Eli Lynch for a touchdown and the first score of the game. After missing the extra point, Washington led 6-0.
The Tiger offense was again unable to advance the ball downfield, giving it back up to the Blue Lions with five minutes showing on the clock, still in the first. Washington managed to get the ball down to the GF thirty yard line where #34 Jamie McCane took the ball 30 yards for the score and then ran the two point conversion in, making it 14-0 for the blue team.
The second quarter’s scoring started with the Blue Lions tackling the runner, who had recovered a Tiger fumble in the end zone, for a safety, adding two more points for the Blue Lions. McClain kicked the ball away after the safety and Washington was able to move the ball efficiently downfield, ending the drive with a McCane 10 yard run for another touchdown. The extra point was true making it 23-0 Blue Lions.
The night was dominated by the Blue Lions offensively and defensively. The lone score came for the Tigers on a 15-yard sweep to the right side of the line with 4:47 left in the game. Bliss was able to punch it in and Bergstrom got the point after in to put seven on the board for McClain.
At the end of the night, the final score stood at 51-7 for the Washington Blue Lions.
Coach Jake Orr-Zody after the game summed it up in a very short, to the point, comment, “They just got after us and we didn’t respond well enough. They came with some blitzes and some things that we knew that they would do, that teams are going to do against us, we just didn’t pick it up very well. It comes back to execution.”
The final regular game for the Tigers will be next week as they play in the Rotary Bowl against county rivals Hillsboro. “You always say you always throw the records out when you play in the Rotary Bowl, and that is true. It always means a little bit more. We are going to need more effort, more enthusiasm, more juice next week. We’re going to need that. We can’t accept these kinds of efforts and these kinds of games. We’re going to have to get over this and get ready for the game next week.”
Asked if he would prepare his team different this week, Coach Orr-Zody said, “You do, you absolutely do. The Rotary Bowl is not here and we know if we win that it would stay in Greenfield for 365 days so that is what we are going to try to do.”
Greenfield will take a 2-8 record into the game against Hillsboro. The game will be played this year at McClain Field.