McKenzie runs wild in Wash High victory
It took Washington nearly three hours to get to Freeport, and it took Shai McKenzie 37 seconds to put the Little Prexies on the scoreboard.
Washington didn't stop there and steamrolled Freeport, 60-6, in a Class AA non-conference game at James Swartz Memorial Field.
No. 3 Washington led No. 9 Freeport. 48-0, at halftime. McKenzie rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries.
The Little Prexies (8-1) ran into wrecks on Interstate 79 and Route 28, causing them to modify their route to Freeport. Washington had planned to shoot up I-79 to Cranberry and then over to Freeport. Those plans changed but not on the field. The start of the game was delayed 40 minutes.
“We practiced really hard all week, and we knew this was a big game for both teams,” McKenzie said. “That bus ride getting here was really long. Guys were getting headaches and getting sick. But we kept it loose and there was singing.”
Washington ran just 14 offensive plays in the first half and amassed 363 yards of offense with just 4:38 of possession. Three of McKenzie's touchdowns were runs of 66, 65 and 57 yards. The final score came on the last play of the first half.
McKenzie did not play in the second half.
Freeport (6-2) ran 36 offensive plays in the first half and gained 114 yards, all rushing.
“We came out, and we did move the ball,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “We have to look at the positives.”
Senior quarterback Branden Lynch rushed for 56 yards on 17 first-half carries and did not play in the second half. Washington quarterback Josh Wise completed 1 of 2 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
As for McKenzie's performance, Gaillot had high praise.
“He's 1,000 times better in person than on film,” Gaillot said.
In the first half, Washington's Chase Caldwell returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown. On the next possession, the Yellowjackets held the ball for 7:48 and 15 plays, but the drive did not result in points. Two plays later McKenzie scored from 65 yards and the rout was on.
“I did not expect this tonight,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “They are a well-coached team. I worried all week. They are big and physical and have been good all year. Just getting here was a struggle tonight. Sitting on a bus for three hours, I know I was sick when we got here.”
Freeport got on the board when Andrew Romanchak scored from 1-yard out with 2:04 to play in the third quarter. Washington added Daron Whitaker's 49-yard run with six minutes to play.
Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer