Another week and another win for the Blue Jays.
Washington football has started the season 2-0 for the second time under Head Coach Derick Heflin, the first time since his initial season with the team in 2016.
Washington aired out its offense with dry conditions for the first time this season to win on the road at Pacific (0-2), 42-13.
The Blue Jays totaled 345 yards of offense in the game, including 125 passing yards. Two of the team’s first three touchdowns came through the passing game.
Washington quarterback Trevor Rinne made three passing strikes of 28 or more yards in the first half, two for scores and one that set up another.
“We knew we could come out and pass,” Heflin said. “Last week we weren’t able to because of the weather but we’ve got kids at receiver that can make some plays and Trevor can throw it. He did a good job and after we got up a little bit, our offensive line and Cole Nahlik did a good job of running it and Christian Meyer had a couple of nice runs too.”
Washington had relied heavily on the running game in a rain-soaked battle with Seckman in Week 1, which helped disguise what the team could do in the passing attack.
“(Three) turnovers in the first half killed us,” Pacific Head Coach Clint Anderson said. “Last week they played in the rain, so they didn’t throw the ball much, but we should have been more prepared for their passing game. We really dropped the ball there and gave up too many yards in the passing game.”
Washington led 7-0 after one quarter and 28-0 at the half, taking advantage on each of those three Pacific turnovers with a scoring drive.
“(Our defense) comes after it and they take pride in it,” Heflin said. “That’s been the whole program, trying to build it up in the weight room so we can run the ball and play great defense and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
After three quarters, the Blue Jays had extended the lead to 35-0. A final Washington touchdown made the score 42-0 in the final period.
Pacific recorded a pair of touchdowns in the closing minutes, working against a running clock and Washington’s defensive reserves.
“I like how the team stayed in the game and battled and had a good mentality there,” Anderson said. “We realize that was against their JV, but it’s good for these guys to get a sense that we can move the ball and we can play well — get a little sense of a swagger back.”
Washington moves up to fourth place in the Class 4 District 5 standings with the victory, passing Heflin’s alma matter Rolla, which suffered a 55-7 loss on the road at West Plains in Week 2.
With 42 points, Washington trails district leader Camdenton (2-0, 63 points), Lebanon (2-0, 58) and Helias Catholic (2-0, 58).
Pacific, also in Class 4 District 5, is currently eighth in the standings with 12 points, trailing Rolla (1-1, 37.5), Union (1-1, 31) and Marshfield (1-1, 25).
Week 3 Preview
The Blue Jays go on the road in Week 3 to take on Warrenton (0-2). The Warriors took a competitive 28-14 loss at home against Wentzville Liberty in Week 1 and suffered a 48-12 defeat at Troy in Week 2.
The Blue Jays and Warriors have played in Week 3 every year since 2012 with Washington holding a 4-3 record against Warrenton in that time frame. Heflin’s squad recorded a 19-14 victory over the Warriors last season at Scanlan Stadium.
Pacific will remain at home in Week 3, opening Four Rivers Conference play against St. Clair.
The Indians will look for revenge after taking a 41-6 loss on the road at St. Clair last season in a game that was halted in the third quarter due to severe weather.
Since the reformatting of the district playoffs in 2012, the Indians and Bulldogs have moved up their standard meeting date from Week 8 to Week 3. In that time frame, St. Clair has won the regular-season meeting between the teams five times.
Pacific last defeated the Bulldogs in 2017, 53-21. However, St. Clair came back to win a rematch in the district quarterfinals later that year, 52-36.
Week 2 Statistics
Rinne completed 6-9 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He totaled a two-yard loss on six carries, but added a rushing score.
“Trevor can throw the ball and do some things and he’s a great leader,” Heflin said. “He keeps them all together. Whenever anything goes down, he comes over and talks to me and does a great job. I can’t say enough great things about Trevor Rinne.”
Connor Vollmer was the preferred passing target of the night for Washington, grabbing three catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. A long pass, which likely would have resulted in a second touchdown for Vollmer, slipped through his hands in the closing seconds of the first half.
Bryce Meyer caught one pass for 29 yards and a score.
Ryan Hoerstkamp made one grab for 28 yards and Nate Busch caught one pass for six yards.
On the ground, Nahlik carried the ball 16 times for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Christian Meyer scored on the ground twice and gained 68 yards on eight carries.
Busch added 14 carries for 25 yards and scored on a two-point conversion.
Camden Millheiser (11 yards), Jake Straatmann (three) and Wyatt Sneed (three) each made one carry.
Pacific gained 105 yards rushing and 74 yards passing in the contest.
Quarterback Colton Thompson completed 3-9 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also picked up most of the Indians’ rushing yards, carrying 17 times for a total of 83.
Grant Hall made two carries for 17 yards.
Parker Kuelker picked up 16 yards on two carries and caught two passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Trenton Johnson made one catch for three yards.
The three defensive takeaways for the Blue Jays came on a Luke Kroeter interception and fumble recoveries by Caleb Brinker and Chris Griesenauer. Both fumbles were forced by Hoerstkamp.
Seth Ruether recorded the only sack.
Griesenauer led the Blue Jays with seven tackles.
Kroeter and Lous Paule made four tackles each.
Brinker, Ruether and Dylan Pape all turned in three tackles.
Hoerstkamp, Joe Hackmann, Korey Jarrell, Trevor Buhr, Sam Rost and Ben Gaither all finished with two tackles.
Adding one tackle apiece were Kaleb Burr, Zach Buescher, Bryce Meyer, Davis Gruber, Louis Obermark, Owen Bartlett and Sneed.
Kicker Blaine Straatmann completed 4-5 extra point attempts for the Jays.
For the Pacific defense, Coby Moeller led with 11 tackles.
Makai Parton turned in six tackles and Matt Austin five.
Jeremiah Murray, Sam Williams, Robert Schmidt, Austin Bush and Jackson Roloff made four stops apiece.
Trevor Hill, Hall and Ian Scott made two tackles apiece.
Andrew Erselius and Johnson both added one tackle.
Bailey Hoehne added one successful point after in two attempts.
Washington struck paydirt on its first drive, scoring just two plays after recovering a Pacific fumble on the first play from scrimmage.
Rinne first found Hoerstkamp for a 28-yard strike deep into the red zone. The Washington quarterback then finished off the drive himself with a four-yard touchdown run.
Washington got another fumble recovery late in the first quarter and ended that period with a second trip to the red zone. While mishaps pushed the Blue Jays back beyond the Pacific 20 early in the second quarter, Rinne was able to complete a 30-yard scoring strike to Vollmer to finish the drive. The ensuing point after was Straatmann’s only miss of the night in five tries.
Three minutes later, following Kroeter’s interception at midfield, Rinne completed a 29-yard pass deep over the middle to Bryce Meyer, who went the final five yards untouched to the end zone.
Washington added a final first-half score with 1:21 left on the clock on a five-yard rushing score by Christian Meyer.
Meyer ended the first drive of the third quarter by rumbling through the Pacific defense for a 32-yard score to make it 35-0.
With the clock then running nonstop, the third quarter ran out quickly and Washington added its final score of the night in the opening minute of the fourth period on a one-yard run by Nahlik.
Pacific’s offense found some bright spots on its final two drives of the night as a 65-yard pass to Kuelker helped set up a one-yard touchdown run by Thompson.
Thompson later connected with Kuelker again for a six-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final offensive play.