The toughest test of the season for the Blue Jays came in Week 6.
Washington (5-1, 2-1) went on the road against one of the top teams in Class 5, Ft. Zumwalt North (6-0, 3-0), ending with the Blue Jays taking their first loss of the season, 56-13.
Three unanswered touchdowns for the Panthers in the fourth quarter made the game appear more lopsided.
“We played an extremely competitive three quarters,” Washington Head Coach Derek Heflin said. “Things snowballed in the fourth and we let things get away. Our kids played really hard and didn’t get down.”
Zumwalt North led, 14-0, after one quarter, 21-6 at the half and 35-13 going into the final period.
Washington drove the ball 98 yards to get on the scoreboard with just 12 seconds left in the second quarter on a two-yard Christian Meyer run.
“The 98-yard drive at the end of the first half was extremely impressive,” Heflin said. “There are lots of positives to build on from the game moving forward and several things we must clean up to be successful come district time.”
Meyer added an 81-yard touchdown reception from Trevor Rinne in the third quarter for Washington’s only other score.
Washington maintains its hold on fourth place in the Class 4 District 5 standings after Week 6 with 41.33 points.
Camdenton (6-0) leads the district with 51.33 points, followed by Lebanon (4-2, 47.83) and Helias Catholic (5-1, 47) in the top three.
Rolla holds the No. 5 seed with 37.33 points. Marshfield (3-3, 31.83), Union (3-3, 30.67) and Pacific (0-6, 14.33) round out the district leaderboard.
In Gateway Athletic Conference Central play, Zumalt North’s win gives the Panthers sole possession of first place.
Washington is tied with Timberland for second in the conference at 2-1.
Wentzville Liberty and Ft. Zumwalt East are both sporting 1-2 conference records and Ft. Zumwalt South is 0-3.
The Blue Jays return home in Week 7 to host Timberland (2-4).
The Wolves are coming off a 14-3 loss to Wentzville Liberty in Week 6. Washington just defeated Liberty the previous week, 22-15.
Timberland has gained its two wins against Ft. Zumwalt South (0-6) and Ft. Zumwalt East (1-5) with its other losses coming against Lafayette (5-1), Eureka (5-1) and Holt (6-0).
In three previous meetings with the Wolves, Washington is 1-2. The first two meetings were an even split between the two teams in 2012 and 2013.
Timberland moved from the GAC South to the GAC Central in 2018 and picked up a 41-7 home win against the Blue Jays last season.
The Wolves have a new quarterback under center this season in Joseph Larsen, who has thrown for 567 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year.
Most of the Timberland ground game runs through senior Jarrett Wilson, who has amassed 624 yards and four touchdowns through the first six weeks.
Senior tight end Trevor Brave is the team’s top passing target with 16 grabs for 224 yards and four scores.
Week 6 Stats
Rinne was 4-10 passing for 104 yards and one touchdown.
Meyer’s 81 receiving yards on one catch and 46 rushing yards on 14 carries were both team highs.
Cole Nahlik (16 receiving yards), Nate Busch (five yards) and Ryan Hoerstkamp (two yards) all made one catch.
Nahlik carried the ball 10 times for 28 yards.
Busch picked up 16 yards on five carries.
Louis Paule gained 16 yards on five carries.
Luke Kroeter was the team’s leading tackler with 10 stops and a forced fumble.
Trevor Buhr made six tackles, two for a loss, and had one sack.
Seth Ruether, Chris Griesenauer and Hoerstkamp were all in on five tackles. Griesenauer recovered a fumble.
Caleb Brinker, Meyer and Louis Obermark were each in on three tackles.
Korey Jarrell and Joe Hackmann both made two stops. Conner Maher and Busch had one tackle each.
Blaine Straatmann made 1-2 extra point attempts.
Izaiah Hartrup opened play with a 91-yard kick return touchdown.
Panthers quarterback Cairo Payne extended the Zumwalt North lead with a 14-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
Hartrup added a seven-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the second period.
Washington’s 98-yard drive worked the clock down to the wire before Meyer’s two-yard touchdown concluded the first half scoring.
Chris Futrell opened the second half scoring with a three-yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the third quarter.
Two minutes later, Meyer had the big play for Washington with his 81-yard touchdown catch.
Payne got back into the end zone with a three-yard run in the final minute of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Payne made two big scoring plays, including a 31-yard pass to Jack Newcomb and then a 48-yard run.
Futrell concluded the scoring with a 39-yard return on a fumble recovery.