Top-ranked Washington asserted dominance over Rapid City Stevens from start to finish as the Warriors raced to a 35-0 halftime and coasted to the 42-0 final score Friday at Howard Wood Field.
The win represents the sixth in a row for the 7-1 Warriors. Against Stevens, RC Central, Watertown and Pierre the past month, they’ve scored a combined 198 points while surrendering only 14.
“They believe in what we’re doing and we believe in the kids. It’s really a tight group,” said coach Chad Stadem. “We’ve got goals. We know this time of the year we’ve got to do certain things right.”
Against the Raiders, the Warriors did a lot of things right. Washington seized a 22-0 first-quarter lead with nearly 10 yards a play on offense while Stevens netted a total of 12 yards. Chayden Fitzsimmons got things started with a 27-yard touchdown run to cap a seven-play, 73-yard drive that took 1:45 off the clock. Two possessions later, quarterback Jack Schelhaas added a 17-yard touchdown run.
The Raiders, meanwhile, punted on their first three possessions and the situation didn’t improve. Stevens’ next five possessions went like this: interception, punt, fumble, interception, interception. All but one of the turnovers eventuated in Washington touchdowns, including a pick six by defensive back Jack Bren from 35 yards out to put the Warriors ahead 22-0.
Stadem said he likes what he’s seen on both sides of the ball. Offensively that’s been fast starts and continued growth in the system. Defensively, the Warriors are getting lots of people involved.
“We’re not relying on one or two guys. That’s fun to watch,” Stadem said. “We’re getting plays from a lot of players.”
A total of 10 defenders accounted for eight tackles for loss, and Logan Eckhoff and Josh Garry added interceptions to go with Bren. Washington’s offense posted more yards in the first quarter (164) than Stevens did all game (133).
Schelhaas connected with receiver Isaiah Hall for a 38-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter, and Fitzsimmons — who had 14 carries for 132 yards — rumbled in for his second score to give Washington a 35-0 lead before half.
As an indication of Washington’s dominance, right guard Stephen Cordell blocked his man about eight yards straight back and into the ground on Fitzsimmons’s 3-yard touchdown scamper.
“Those lineman are tough dudes. When they want to get things done, they get things done,” Schelhaas said. “It all starts with them.”
Schelhaas finished with 107 yards rushing on 10 attempts and added the game’s final score on a 21-yard keeper in the fourth quarter. The senior was 9-for-12 passing for 134 yards and an interception.
Washington has guaranteed itself a high seed for the postseason, but next week’s matchup with Roosevelt looms. The winner of that contest will carry the top seed into the playoffs.
It didn’t take long for Stadem’s attention to shift from Friday’s win to next Thursday’s game against the Riders.
“We need to play Roosevelt. And I think Roosevelt would like to play us too,” Stadem said. “It’s going to be an exciting game.”
SFW – Chayden Fitzsimmons 27 run (Seth Benson to Ty Smith pass), 8:23
SFW – Jack Schelhaas 17 run (Brock Walker kick), 1:29
SFW – Jack Bren 30 interception return (Brock Walker kick), :30
SFW – Isaiah Hall 38 pass from Schelhaas (run failed), 6:53
SFW – Fitzsimmons 3 run (Walker kick), 4:59
SFW – Schelhaas 21 run (Walker kick), 7:39
Rushing – RCS: Grant Youngblood 19-58, Sam Galster 9-33, Desmond Donalson 4-20, George Johnson 1-3, Brandon Soucy 1-1, Cade Ellis 4-(-3). SFW: Chayden Fitzsimmons 14-131, Jack Schelhaas 10-107, Josh Thomas 15-43, Logan Eckhoff 2-15, Tupak Kpeayeh 2-4, Mitchell Waddell 1-(-2), team 2(-2).
Passing – RCS: George Johnson 2-7-3-12, Brandon Soucy 4-5-0-6. SFW: Jack Schelhaas 9-12-1-134, Jayden Johannsen 1-1-0-3.
Receiving – RCS: Desmond Donalson 1-12, Sam Galster 3-5, Alex Westergaard 1-4, Grant Youngblood 1-(-3). SFW: Logan Uttecht 2-49, Isaiah Hall 2-45, Ty Smith 1-15, Logan Eckhoff 2-14, Jenson Amdahl 1-8, Seth Randall 1-3, Seth Benson 1-3.