Vianney junior running back Markel Smith showed Washington why he is one of the top players, and recruits, in Missouri.
Smith, who is being recruited by many Division I schools, including Missouri, rushed for 437 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns in the Griffins’ 49-41 home win Friday over the Blue Jays.
Despite Smith’s huge game and Vianney’s 42-6 halftime lead, Washington still made a game of it. The Blue Jays (3-3) outscored Vianney 35-7 in the second half and had chances down the stretch.
“We had a really bad first half. Our guys were a little surprised by Vianney’s level of physical play, especially their offense. We haven’t seen anything like that all year. It’s not like we couldn’t compete, but we were a little taken back by it,” said Washington Head Coach Zach Schneider. “I was proud of the way we came back in the second half. We had five or six minutes with a running clock that really hurt us. Otherwise, I think we could have come back. We ran out of time.”
Ft. Zumwalt North Preview
Washington (1-1 in the GAC Central), returns to league action Friday at Ft. Zumwalt North.
The Panthers (3-3, 1-2) lost last week at Holt, 19-12. Wins have come over St. Charles West 14-6, Mehlville 14-8, and Ft. Zumwalt South 21-14. Losses have been to Troy 14-0, Ft. Zumwalt East 38-26, and Holt.
FZN runs the triple option offense, led by quarterback Zach Hilliard. He has passed for 759 yards this season.
“They’re a solid team that plays hard. They’ve been in every game they’ve played this year,” Schneider said. “They don’t have a Markel Smith out there, but they’ll still be a handful. We need to play assignment football and make tackles. Offensively, we need to limit our mistakes. They haven’t given up a lot of points, but I think we can do some things against them. If we play our game, we can play with anyone.”
It was a career game for Smith, who has had a number of impressive performances at Vianney (2-4).
Smith, 5-10 and 205 pounds, has rushed for 1,296 yards in six games this season.
“He’s the best running back I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching at Washington,” Schneider said of Smith. “He’s well beyond where Montee Ball was during his junior year at Timberland. We beat Timberland during Ball’s junior year and held him to under 100 yards. Smith has put up big yards against really good teams. His ability to stop and start and then run through tackles is impressive. Their level of play on the offensive line was the difference in the game. And when you put Markel Smith behind them, that multiplies the problem.
“We just don’t see teams like Vianney. They’re a 2-4 team that plays in a conference (Metro Catholic) with teams full of Division I athletes. If they were in the GAC, they might be undefeated or have one loss.”
Washington did much of its offensive damage against Vianney in the second half, scoring 35 points, which included a six-minute stretch with a running clock.
The Blue Jays accumulated 480 total yards, 347 passing and 133 rushing.
Quarterback Luke Hasenjaeger was 23-35 passing for 347 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. In the second half, he was 15-16 passing for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
“Things clicked for Luke in the second half,” Schneider said. “There were times where they dropped nine guys into coverage and they still couldn’t stop us.”
Justin Schuler also saw some time at quarterback in the first half.
Randall Flotte also had a big night, scoring four touchdowns. He carried the ball 11 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He also had three catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Brock Hopkins collected six catches for 92 yards and one touchdown.
Kyle Summers rushed for 22 yards on six attempts. Max Phinney carried the ball three times for 17 yards and had two receptions for 28 yards.
Collin Anderson finished with four catches for 41 yards. Ben Gratza added three catches for 26 yards. Derek Walters, 24 yards, and Caleb Curran, 15 yards, both had two catches. Alex Monehan had one reception for seven yards.
Defensively, Dilan Bollmann had a big game, registering 15 solo tackles, two assists and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
“Dilan had a tremendous game,” Schneider said. “He scored his third defensive touchdown of the year. He’s consistently at the right spot at the right time.”
Cody Summers added eight solos and one assist. Jared Walde and Kyle Summers both had eight solos. D.J. Quathem added six solos. Caleb Summers added five solos and two assists.
Vianney had 613 total yards, 470 rushing and 143 passing.
Garrett Staskewicz was 9-19 passing for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
Washington pulled to within 49-41 on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Luke Hasenjaeger to Randall Flotte with 1:53 left in the game.
The Griffins took possession of the ball and ran out the clock for the win.
In the first quarter, Smith had touchdown runs of five, 58 and 87 yards to help the Griffins to a quick 21-0 lead. Staskewicz then threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to Kyle Markway, Nick Allgeyer and Ethan Staskewicz to make the score 42-6 at intermission.
Flotte, Hopkins and Bollmann scored in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 49-27.
Flotte found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a game we could have won. We probably needed to score 60 to do it, but I think we could have,” Schneider said. “We just made too many mistakes in the first half. If we can put four quarters together, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”
V-Markel Smith 5 run (Danny Reilly kick), 6:28
V-Smith 58 run (Reilly kick), 2:52
V-Smith 87 run (Reilly kick), 1:22
W-Randall Flotte 37 run (kick failed), :49
V-Kyle Markway 27 pass from Garrett Staskewicz (Reilly kick), 8:46
V-Nick Allgeyer 15 pass from Staskewicz (Reilly kick), :51
V-Ethan Staskewicz 38 pass from Staskewicz (Reilly kick), :30
W-Flotte 48 pass from Luke Hasenjaeger (Luke Hoemann kick), 6:55
V-Spencer Peterson 1 run (Reilly kick), 3:33
W-Brock Hopkins 19 pass from Hasenjaeger (Hoemann kick), 2:12
W-Dilan 6 fumble recovery (Hoemann kick), 2:04
W-Flotte 6 run (Hoemann kick), 9:17
W-Flotte 65 pass from Hasenjaeger (Hoemann kick), 1:53