Minus McKenzie, sophomore RB leads Washington to blowout victory

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 10:15 p.m.

The Washington football team might've been without star running back Shai McKenzie, but the Class AA fifth-ranked Prexies didn't lack a running game during Thursday's dismantling of Jeannette.

With McKenzie out because of a torn ACL he suffered two weeks ago at Charleroi, sophomore Jordan West did his best McKenzie impersonation during a 48-14 win for Washington at No. 8 Jeannette's McKee Stadium.

West ran 12 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns. He also intercepted a Julian Batts pass in the first half and finished a yard shy of a fourth touchdown in the second half.

“When they called upon me, I knew I had to make a stand,” West said. “I showed them that I could, and I think I gave myself more confidence by doing that.”

Washington, which came into the game averaging 330.5 yards per game on the ground, finished with 345. Six of the Prexies' seven touchdowns came on the ground.

“We couldn't stop em,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said.

Malik Wells ran for 48 yards and a score. Chase Caldwell had 51 yards and threw a 55-yard TD pass. Jonathan Spina completed 4 of 8 passes for 54 yards.

The win keeps Washington (5-0, 5-0) atop the Interstate Conference with a huge home game in two weeks against No. 3 Mt. Pleasant, also undefeated.

“When we lost Shai, the kids were hurt, the coaches were hurt,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “But the kids, as a result, have come together.”

Jeannette (4-1, 4-1), meanwhile, falls a game back after giving up a season-high for points — in the first half. The Jayhawks are winless in their past three attempts against Washington.

With McKenzie sporting a pair of crutches on the Prexies' sideline, West headlined a Washington group that gave the Jayhawks plenty to worry about.

West, listed at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, had 19 carries for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the four weeks prior to Thursday's game.

The Prexies scored on their opening possession, marching 71 yards on eight plays, two of them passes from Spina.

On first-and-10 from the 21-yard line, West made a couple of cuts and scored with 7 minutes, 50 seconds left in the opening quarter to give Washington a 7-0 lead.

West stretched the Washington lead to 14-0 with a 20-yarder to cap 10-play drive with less than a minute left in the first quarter.

Jeannette answered on its second possession when Michael Wise ran a slant route from the strong side and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Batts.

But Washington used a trick play on the first play of its next drive: a 55-yard reverse pass from Caldwell to a wide-open Quorteze Levy.

West made it 28-7 with 1:10 to go before halftime when he scored on another inside run. Jeannette got 50 rushing yards from Quentin Rickard. Batts threw for 109 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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