116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Washington displayed a new look.
The Warriors emerged from the Kingston Stadium tunnel with shiny blue helmets, a change from their traditional red hats. With blue jerseys and white pants, the uniform was void of any red that is part of the school colors.
Consider it a symbol of a shift in the program.
“The last couple years we haven’t been as successful as we’d hoped,” Washington senior Watts McBride said. “It’s time for some change. We’re trying to switch some things up and bring new energy to our team. I think this is the start of it.”
The Warriors demonstrated their flare for fashion and football. McBride scored three touchdowns and Class 4A ninth-ranked Washington trounced crosstown rival Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 47-6, in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
“We have a lot of stuff to fix,” Washington Coach Maurice Blue said. “There were a lot of good things.”
Washington was in control from the start. McBride put the Warriors on the board on their second possession of the game. He capped a 66-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run, which was set up by a 45-yard screen pass from Malik Epps-Keller to Alex Taylor.
Watts and Epps-Keller teamed up for the second score with eight seconds left in the first. Epps-Keller lofted a well-timed screen pass to McBride, who dashed for a 38-yard TD, doubling Washington’s lead.
McBride added a 35-yard TD run with 1:04 left in the first half, making 35-0 and starting a continuous clock.
“There were really good play calls by Coach (Frank) Scherrman,” McBride said. “Good blocks by my linemen and the receivers down field makes my job easy.”
McBride finished with 162 yards of total offense, including 120 on the ground. The Warriors have a complementary tandem at running back with McBride’s speed and Taylor’s power. Taylor had 84 yards of total offense. He added a 37-yard run in the second quarter.
“They broke a few,” Blue said. “Watts and Alex did a great job running the ball. We did a nice job rushing.”
Epps-Keller passed for 131 yards and two scores, hitting Jaden Harris for a 47-yard TD in the second for a 28-0 edge.
Washington forced Jefferson to almost as many punts (five) as it allowed gains (seven). The Warriors managed four sacks in the opening half and seven overall. They forced four turnovers overall, including three interceptions.
“We just played our brand of football,” Mahoney said. “We were fast and physical. Hit hard and fly around the field. We just did our thing.”
Chase Mahoney contributed to the Warriors’ sack total and he also experienced a first. Mahoney picked off a pass on the first drive of the second half. He capitalized on a broken play with a 38-yard interception return for a score, extending the lead to 41-0.
“It’s my first ever in my high school career,” Mahoney said. “Sophomore, varsity, anything. It was awesome.”
Jefferson’s lone touchdown came in the third. Washington mishandled a punt and the J-Hawks’ Tyler Huston snagged it off a bounce and ran 40 yards for the score.
C.R. WASHINGTON 47
C.R. JEFFERSON 6
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
First Downs 2 12
Rushes-yards 21-(-45) 26-139
Passing yards 15 132
Comp-att-int 6-18-3 5-14-0
Total yards (-30) 271
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-2
Punts-avg. 7-27.3 3-32.7
Penalties-yards 8-50 5-50
C.R. Jefferson 0 0 6 0 -- 6
C.R. Washington 12 23 6 6 -- 47
CRW – Watts McBride 20 run (kick failed)
CRW – McBride 38 pass from Malik Epps-Keller (pass failed)
CRW – Alex Taylor 37 run (Zach Novak kick)
CRW – Team safety
CRW – Jaden Harris 47 pass from Epps-Keller (Novak kick)
CRW – McBride 35 run (Novak kick)
CRW – Chase Mahoney 38 interception return (kick failed)
CRJ – Tyler Huston 40 return (kick failed)
CRW – Michael Blank 54 punt return (kick failed)
RUSHING – C.R. Jefferson: A.J. White 4-11, Ishara Kalolero 6-3, Team 2-(-9), Jeremiah Peiffer 9-(-50). C.R. Washington: Watts McBride 10-120, Alex Taylor 3-38, Carter Patterson 3-16, Malik Epps-Keller 2-2, Stephen Cain 1-1, Will Barnes 3-1, Team 4-(-39).
PASSING – C.R. Jefferson: Peiffer 6-18-3-15. C.R. Washington: Epps-Keller 4-6-0-131, Cain 1-8-0-1.
RECEIVING – C.R. Jefferson: White 1-10, Bradley Cable 1-6, Antonis Christodoulou 1-5, Carter Bronson 1-(-1), L.J. Lyenow Jr. 1-(-2), Kalolero 1-(-3). C.R. Washington: Jaden Harris 1-47, Taylor 2-46, McBride 1-38, Michael Blank 1-1.