NORMAN — WASHINGTON — Friday nights in November are meant for playoff football in this part of McClain County, under the lights of Washington’s Reed Field. And this year’s Warriors, making the school’s 22nd consecutive postseason appearance, added to Washington’s winning tradition by opening the Class 2A postseason with a 43-6 victory against visiting Kingston.
The victory boosts Washington (8-3) to a second-round contest at Hennessey, the defending state champions in Class 2A. The Eagles pounded Crooked Oak 54-7 Friday.
And, the performance continues a win streak for the Warriors that now reaches seven games. They’re as hot as any team in the class now as the bracket diminishes to 16 teams next week.
“That’s one step, but now we’ve got to get back to work,” Washington Coach Brad Beller told his team after the game.
Washington took control of the game in the first half by taking advantage of a handful of Kingston miscues. Cooper Treadaway got the Warriors on the board with a 65-yard interception return of a Jared Hayes pass midway in the first quarter.
“I saw it coming out of the corner of my eye and saw it was going to be short,” Treadaway said. “I just made the play and followed my blockers on in.”
Early in the second, the Warriors pounced on a Kingston fumble from a wild snap. Washington converted with a 4-play, 50-yard drive capped by a 20-yard scoring run from quarterback Brock Harmon. And Washington tacked on two more points on a safety after another high snap forced Hayes to kick the ball out of the back of his own end zone to avoid further trouble.
Up 16-0, the Warriors traded touchdowns with the Redskins before halftime, Kingston on a 33-yard strike from Hayes to younger brother Paden Hayes before Brady Culbeth went 57 yards on a scoring run for the Warriors.
From there, the Warriors controlled the second half, getting a couple of Harmon touchdown passes and a late scoring run by Jared Andrews.
Harmon finished with 14 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, and passed for another 79 yards and the two scores, to Treadaway and Cody Bratten. Culbeth added 73 rushing yards on just three carries.
The Washington defense had held Kingston to less than 100 total yards before a late drive pushed the Redskins to a total of 149. The Warriors forced four Kingston turnovers.
During their win streak, the Warriors have scored at least 42 points in each game while their defense has continued to be solid.
“We’ve just been working hard in practice every day,” Treadaway said. “After the first few games we just had to keep our heads in it and keep trying to get better.”
The Warriors found their way to postseason a year ago but a first-round exit left them with a sub-.500 effort at 5-6. Win or lose from here on, they’ve made big strides in 2012.
But their goals continue to be bigger, even with a big test next week.
“We want to still be playing on Thanksgiving,” Beller said.