On three different possessions, the upset-minded Washington-Liberty Generals executed their ball-control offensive game plan as planned, resulting in three touchdown drives in a Sept. 16 non-district road game against the West Springfield Spartans. But that wasn’t enough.
Washington-Liberty (1-3) lost 28-21 in the high-school football contest. Two turnovers, not converting on some fourth-down attempts and having some running plays stopped for negative yards were all costly for the Generals by combining to end other potential scoring drives.
“We had some mistakes but we executed well at times and showed maturity by staying in the game,” Washington-Liberty coach Josh Shapiro said.
The Generals took a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Ryan Jones passed to Sean Guffey for a 28-yard scoring pass to cap an eight-play, 68-yard touchdown drive, and Anthony Ceballos Medina booted his first of three extra points.
“That’s what we wanted to do on that first drive,” Shapiro said.
From there, West Springfield rallied to take a 14-7 lead, W-L tied the score by 14 at halftime, then the Spartans scored two third-quarter TDs to lead 28-14.
But the Generals rallied again. After cutting the lead to 28-21, Washington-Liberty had opportunities to tie the game, but one drive ended with an interception and others when the Generals didn’t convert on fourth downs.
“In the past we probably would have lost that game 42-14, but we have a lot of seniors and they kept battling,” Shapiro said.
Jose Morales scored W-L’s second touchdown on a one-yard run and Jackson Nowinski found the end zone for the third on a 18-yard pass from Jones. Morales’ TD capped a nine-play, 56-yard drive.
Jones was 24 of 40 passing for 240 yards and was intercepted twice. Nowinski had seven catches for 83 yards, JoJo Sovula had six for 56, Jackson Broadwell four for minus 1, Luke Harnishfeger three for 50, Guffey two for 15 and Stephen Forney one for eight.
Broadwell had 72 yards rushing and Sovula 19.
On defense, Elijah Hughes led the way with multiple tackles and sacks, along with Ben Hughes making many tackles. David Harris recovered a fumble and Morales added a sack.