BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – The first half could have set the tone.
The second half finished the story.
Fort Madison had its chances in the low-scoring first two quarters in Friday’s game against Washington at Richmond Stadium.
Then two identical runs from Demons running back Wyatt Stout ended any hopes the Bloodhounds had in the 36-7 loss.
Stout had two third-quarter touchdown runs up the middle, one for 43 yards and another for 48, as Washington took control of a close game in the second half.
“We did (play well in the first half),” Fort Madison coach Derek Doherty said. “But we’re going through some growing pains, still. We’re just not there yet. It’s not a lack of effort or anything like that. We’re just not there yet.”
Washington (5-2 overall, 2-1 Class 3A District 6) led just 6-0 at halftime, a lead that was tenuous when the Bloodhounds (4-3, 1-2) got an untimed down because of a penalty inside the Demons’ 15-yard line on the final play of the half. Will Larson’s pass to the end zone was incomplete to end the half, but Fort Madison seemed in perfect position to challenge in the second half.
That challenge was gone when the Demons scored 30 second-half points.
Stout’s two touchdown runs took away any momentum the Bloodhounds had, then a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown by Washington’s Dillon Sanders put the Demons in command.
“I believe we got caught in some blitz where the middle was wide open, and there they go,” Doherty said. “Can’t have that.”
Fort Madison’s only points of the game came on a 14-yard pass from Larson to Parker Denning late in the fourth quarter. But the Demons quickly answered on their next possession, when quarterback Luke Turner threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Hunt.
Fort Madison had 254 yards of offense. Larson threw for 123 yards and added 74 rushing yards. Denning had four catches for 75 yards.
Washington had 427 yards of offense. Stout rushed for 162 yards on 18 carries. Turner threw for 173 yards and added 79 rushing yards.
Fort Madison plays at Mount Pleasant next Friday before closing the season at home against Keokuk.
“That’s a very good football team,” Doherty said of Washington. “We showed we can compete when we want to. We just have to compete on every single snap. I feel like that’s what they did, and that’s not what we did. Maybe this is proof to our guys that we are doing the right things and we’re moving in the right direction. It’s not happening as fast as we want it to, but we are moving in the right direction.”