Washington football advances to district final

The Washington football team lines up for a play in the championship versus Battle.

Lucas Newhouse

The Washington football team lines up for a play in the championship versus Battle. “We are all very excited about last week, but we have to focus on this week,” junior Cam Millheiser said before the game. Washington would end up losing this game 27-7.

On Friday night, Nov. 6, both the excitement and tension were on the highest level as Washington was set to play Camdenton, the team that eliminated them last year in a blowout, 56-7. This time, the Blue Jays held home field, having Camdenton make the two and a half hour drive that Washington had to make last year.

The Blue Jays received the ball first and led a long drive that was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior Ryan Hoerstkamp. The Lakers would quickly tie it up with a big 67-yard touchdown pass. But before halftime, the Blue Jays were able to take the lead again, with Hoerstkamp catching another touchdown.

The Lakers opening second half drive was assisted by an array of penalties from the Blue Jays defense, and they would tie the game with a touchdown run going into the fourth quarter.

With another long drive, the Blue Jays were able to retake the lead on a touchdown run by senior Cole Nahlik. The Lakers would answer with a touchdown of their own on the very next drive, leaving Washington slightly over six minutes left in the game.

That was plenty of time as the Blue Jays were able to drive down the field withe ease, with Nahlik once again punching in the touchdown, carrying several defenders into the end zone with him.

“When we got the ball, five minutes was exactly what we wanted,” Nahlik said. “We all had faith we could drive down the field and milk the clock and score to finish off the drive.”

1:07 and three timeouts were not enough for the Lakers to score, as the drive was stifled by a late Hoerstkamp sack, and ultimately ended with an interception by senior Jason Sides as time expired.

“It was an unbelievable feeling,” junior quarterback Cam Millheiser said. “They have a really good program, and they beat the heck out of us last year. It was a good team effort.”

“Beating Camdenton is probably going to be one of my best football memories,” Nahlik said. “To get them back in a close win meant the world to our guys.”

The touchdown scored by Nahlik in the final minutes of the game was one of the most dramatic moments in recent history for Blue Jay football, and it was a team effort.

“The offensive line was moving people out of the way and there was some great blocks from (senior) Louis (Paule) and our receivers downfield,” Nahlik said. “I just tried to do whatever I could when my number was called to help get our team another game together.”

With the win, the Blue Jays will advance to play Battle next week in the district championship in Washington.

“Battle is a really good team,” Millheiser said, “but we think we are a good team as well, and it should be a great game.”