By Joel Swanson
WASHINGTON - The Washington Panthers rode a strong defense, and a second half offensive surge to down U-High, 30-6, in a Class 5A second round playoff action Friday night at Babcock Staidium.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers took advantage of a pair of Pioneer turnovers to take a 10-0 halftime lead. The first score came on a 22-yard field goal by J.D. Eddy in the second quarter. Washington would then score on a 5-yard touchdown pass off of a halfback option as Austin Harrel hit Hayden Bodine for the score.
After the halftime break, Washington was able to open a sizable lead that it would never relinquish. Quarterback Luke Ludolph hit Bryce Wright for a 65- yard touchdown pass and Harrel scored on an 8-yard run. Joe Johnson got the only score for U-High with a 36-yard run in the final stanza.
The Panther defense dominated the game, holding U-High to just 154 total yards. The Pioneers running game could only muster 63 yards.
For the Pioneers, Jeff Larsen led the way with 15 tackles as the Pioneer defense held strong throughout the first half but got worn down in half number two.
U-High finished the season with a 10-1 record. Washington advances to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five seasons with a 9-2 record.