BATTLE OF THE JOSH’S: Washington, Apollo-Ridge QBs each account for 4 TDssWritten by: Josh Funk on Sunday, September 12th, 2010
LEECHBURG, Pa. – Both the Washington and Apollo-Ridge football teams entered Week 2 of this 2010 season seeking improvement from Week 1 dominations.
Washington, recall, was held to minus-24 yards of offense and didn’t gain a first down in a loss to Clairton. And Apollo-Ridge, in a 40-6 loss to Indiana, mustered fewer than 100 yards in its new-look spread offense.
In what became a battle of field generals, both teams were able to show progress in key areas.
Little Prexie sophomore QB Josh Wise accounted for four total touchdowns and Viking field general Josh Zelonka fired four touchdown passes as Washington (1-1) downed Apollo-Ridge (0-2) 41-25 in Leechburg Saturday evening.
Early on, however, neither team really seemed to get going. Apollo-Ridge’s front four got good penetration and was stuffing the Prexies’ straight-ahead rushing attack – allowing just 28 yards on Washington’s first 12 carries.
And when Washington dented the scoreless tie with 1:42 left in the first quarter on a 13-yard pass from Wise to junior Joe Phillips, Washington only had 36 yards of offense on 15 plays.
“We’re really young up front,” said Washington head coach Mike Bosnic. “That’s something we’ve struggled with the last few weeks.”
But Washington got going thanks to an awakening from senior fullback Zach Barnes – the 6’2, 230-pound battering ram finished with 126 yards and two scores on 21 carries. And, as a team, Wash High ran for 240 yards.
“They did a good job (after the start of the game),” Bosnic said of his offensive line. “We’re only going to keep improving. We had 240 rushing yards tonight…”
Apollo-Ridge, meanwhile, looked like it was stuck in neutral for much of the first half. The Vikings’ spread offense, designed to utilize the arm of Zelonka, only gained 65 yards of offense and trailed, 21-6 at halftime. To that point, Zelonka had only thrown for 72 yards and a nine-yard touchdown pass to Steve Babyak.
In the second half, Zelonka went off.
Devoid of any rushing offense to speak of this night (A-R ran for minus-10 yards on 21 carries), Zelonka fired touchdown passes of 57, 2, and 48 yards, and finished with 247 passing yards on 15-of-25 passing.
“We definitely wanted to move the ball – that was our goal,” said Viking head coach John Simon. “The Little Prexies – they’ve always had great players and great talent. I’m proud of what out kids did tonight.”
Washington was threatening to blow the game open, with leads of 28-6 and 35-12 in the third quarter, but the Vikings kept battling. Senior wide receiver Kyler Martin finished with 128 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Zelonka’s 48-yard pass to senior tailback Eean Smith capped the game scoring.
Washington’s scoring binge came to an end with Wise’s 18-yard scamper with 7:44 left in the game.
Barnes’ effort on the ground for the Prexies was complimented by sophomore Jaylin Kelly (6’1, 210 pounds), who ran for 73 yards on five carries. Junior Jordan Thomas added three rushes for 20 yards. Senior Julien Anderson caught two passes for 47 yards and Phillips snared two passes for 27.
Wise threw for 94 yards and three touchdowns and finished with 116 yards of total offense.
“He’s really maturing into a good player,” Bosnic said of Wise. “He’s getting better every week.”
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