On Sept. 21, Washburn football lost a hard fought battle in overtime against the Fort Hays State University Tigers during Family Day at Yager Stadium.
Fort Hays was the first to score, leading with 7-0. Running back Percy Mitchell scored a touchdown from 1-yard out at the end of the first quarter and tied the teams at 7. The tie was soon broken by a Tiger drive in the second quarter 14-7.
Fort Hays kicked off to Washburn after their second touchdown. This kickoff led to a 100-yard return and touchdown by wide receiver James Letcher, Jr., tying once again at 14. Letcher Jr. is the third person in Washburn’s history to have a 100-yard kickoff return. Cary Williams and Fletcher Terrell, former Washburn football players, are the other two history makers.
With five minutes left in the second quarter, wide receiver Collin Wilson scored the Ichabods’ third touchdown of the game, leading 21-14. However, the Tigers retaliated with another game-tying touchdown that wrapped the first half at 21-21.
In the third quarter, the Ichabods fought hard but could not score on the Tigers. Meanwhile Fort Hays increased their score by two touchdowns over Washburn, 35-21.
Entering the fourth quarter two touchdowns behind, Wilson had a 56-yard run that earned the Ichabods a touchdown, 35-28. Washburn defense held the tigers from scoring again. A punt from Fort Hays led to a 72-yard drive by Washburn, which ended with a 26-yard field goal by placekicker Kameron Lake, 35-31.
A Fort Hays fumble led to the repossession of the ball for Washburn. Mitchell scored his second touchdown of the game with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter pushing the Ichabods to 38-35. Fort Hays came back with a field goal to tie the game 38-38 at the end of the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime.
Beginning overtime, the Tigers chose to be on defense first after a coin toss that fell in their favor. After a strong Washburn drive, a throw from quarterback Mitch Schurig was intercepted by the Tiger defense. The Tigers ended the overtime with a field goal and won the game at 41-38. Several players spoke about the close game and difficult loss.
“It’s frustrating being that close but we needed to clean up our mistakes and finish at the end,” said Wilson, sophomore nursing major. “It’s hard to comeback from a two touchdown loss from a disciplined team.”
Jace Williams, junior mass media major and wide receiver, was confident that the team will use this loss as motivation to improve their game.
“It was a tough loss for sure. We’re going to put this loss behind us and learn from it,” Williams said. “Next week, we’re just going to use this as motivation to take on UCM. They’re undefeated, so we need to just learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
Wilson wanted to emphasize the importance of improving their game in order to be ready for the University of Central Missouri in their next game.
“Next week, we have to take advantage of opportunities while we’re on offense and in scoring position. They have a great defense, so we’ll have to clean up our mistakes,” Wilson said.
The Ichabods head out Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. to Warrensburg, Missouri, to face off against the undefeated University of Central Missouri Mules.
Edited by Adam White, Shelby Hanson, Jessica Galvin