Dwane Simmons wore the number 17. To honor him, a different player each game will be a steward of the number to keep it alive on the playing field. Simmons was a beloved Washburn student who was tragically killed April, 2019. This game marks the first game since Simmons’ unfortunate passing. Washburn's win over Lincoln made the team feel like the game went the right way and with much meaning to all.
Punter Kameron Lake kicked off the game with a punt that flew past the endzone. The first quarter started slow for both teams. Quarterback Mitch Schurig passed the ball to receiver James Letcher Jr., who took the Ichabods within 15 yards of the endzone. With the aid of his teammates, Running Back Taylon Peters scored Washburn’s first touchdown of the season.
Safety K.J. Turner took the Ichabods’ first interception of the season from Lincoln University.
Lincoln also scored their first touchdown, and the teams were tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
During the second quarter, Lincoln made their second and third touchdowns, but the third was overturned by an unsportsmanlike conduct ruling due to Lincoln’s Hosea Franklin doing a front-flip into the endzone. That was soon followed by a Washburn touchdown. The teams were tied 14-14 at the end of the first half.
Receiver Collin Wilson took the ball into the endzone for an Ichabod touchdown in the third quarter, which put Washburn in the lead. Another Ichabod touchdown followed. Lincoln came back in the third quarter with their third touchdown.
The third quarter was where Washburn came alive. Washburn ended the quarter up by two touchdowns, 35-21. Schurig was injured in the third quarter and sat out the rest of the game. He will be returning in the next game.
Lincoln began the fourth quarter by scoring a touchdown but did not complete the field goal. The score was 35-27.
Linebacker Kyle Emerick was injured during the fourth quarter with five minutes to go. There is no comment at this time if Emerick sustained injuries that will affect him playing in next Saturday's game.
Washburn scored the final two touchdowns of the game, and the score was finalized at Washburn 49 and Lincoln 27.
Defensive Tackle Greg Martin was hyped to start the season with a win.
“It felt good to win tonight. We’ve come a long way since the spring and we still got a lot more to grow on this season. We’re excited,” Martin said.
Head Coach Craig Schurig was excited, yet humbled, to begin his 18th season as Washburn’s head football coach with a win.
“It felt good to go get on the field. Obviously, there’s a lot of things we need to get better at. We had a lot of sloppy plays. We have a good team and we showed it at times, but it’s good enough to get the win,” Schurig said.
Coach Schurig felt Simmon’s presence on the field that evening and dedicated this season to honoring him.
“A lot of emotions in this game. We just want to honor him with everything we do all season, whether we win or lose. We’re dedicating all season to him,” Schurig said.
Defensive Back Alvin Houston had the honor of being the first player to wear Simmons’ number this season. Wearing the number gave Houston a boost of energy, much like Simmons would have showcased.
“I came out with a lot of energy. I’m happy to be the first one to wear it for him and represent a very good man,” Houston said.
The Simmons family attended Washburn’s first football game to watch Dwane’s teammates get their first win. Navarro Simmons, Dwane’s father, was given a canvas collage of Dwane playing football from the Ichabod football team.
“It was an emotional thing, but it felt good just feeling his spirit out on the field. I’m glad I could come and show everybody the love they’ve been showing me these past few months,” Simmons said. “We appreciate everybody’s support. I really do.”
Washburn Ichabod football hits the road to play Northwest Missouri State University Sat. Sept. 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Edits by Shelby Hanson and Jason Morrison