Wildcats hold off late Sabres surge for 16-14 win

Washington quarterback Blake Mullikin scored on a short run in the first half of the Wildcats’ 16-14 victory over Sumner. Mullikin scored two touchdowns in the contest. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

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.

Sumner senior receiver Rickey Brown broke multiple tackles on his way to a touchdown. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Washington quarterback Savyon Powell threw a short pass to the left side. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Sumner running back Antonio Harrison burst around the right side for a 22-yard touchdown run. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Washington junior offensive lineman Jaden Selmon blocked Sumner sophomore defensive lineman Nicky Flores. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
The Washington Wildcats burst onto the field for their season opener. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Washington sophomore defensive back Ja’Quarey Williams knocked away a Sumner pass to the end zone. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
The Washington cheerleaders celebrated the victory. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
The Sumner drum section paraded onto the field before the game. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Sumner junior Enrique Najera stripped the football for a fumble. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)


Washington head coach Cam Smith addressed the team after the game. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

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