by Brian Turrel
The Washington Wildcats held off a fourth quarter charge from the Sumner Sabres to win Friday night’s football game 16-14 at Washington.
Washington’s Blake Mullikin scored two first-half rushing touchdowns to stake the Wildcats to a 14-0 halftime lead.
The first score came midway through the first half after the teams traded unproductive first drives. Washington took over on the Sumner 9-yard line after a muffed snap on a punt. Washington pounded the ball within a yard of the goal, and Mullikin finished the drive by sliding down the line to find a small crease for the score and a 6-0 lead.
Washington’s second goal capped a long drive that consumed most of the second quarter. The Wildcats converted five first downs as they marched methodically down the field. Mullikin plunged through several defenders from four yards out for the touchdown, and the Wildcats converted a two-point play for a 14-0 lead.
With under two minutes in the half, Sumner drove down inside the Washington 10-yard line, but couldn’t score before the halftime whistle sounded.
After the teams traded turnovers to start the second half, Sumner took over on a blocked punt at the Washington 22 and then unleashed running back Antonio Harrison for a 22-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score 14-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, Washington drove from their 45-yard line to within two yards of Sumner’s goal. Sumner’s defense held on fourth down, but the aftermath proved costly.
On the next play, Washington sent a rush of defenders, sacking Sumner’s quarterback in the end zone and earning the two-point safety that proved to be the game’s final margin.
Sumner pulled within two points on a touchdown pass from Cam Johnson to Rickey Brown, followed by a two-point conversion to Harrison.
The door of opportunity opened wide for Sumner with four minutes remaining in the game. Washington fumbled the kickoff, and Sumner took over the ball at the Washington 17-yard line.
Penalties and a bad snap sent the Sumner offense in reverse, ending up back near the Washington 35, where the Wildcats took over on downs, needing only one first down to run out the clock.
The Sabres fall to 0-2 on the season. They are scheduled to play Lincoln Preparatory Academy on Sept. 17 at Schlagle Stadium.
The Washington Wildcats are 1-0 to start the season. They will face off against Schlagle next Friday in their homecoming game. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m.