Ichabods beat Tigers, prepare for UNO

After three straight losses for the Washburn football team, the Ichabods (2-3) return home victorious after defeating Fort Hays State 38-27 last Saturday and will now prepare to tangle with the University of Nebraska-Omaha (2-3) in the Hall of Fame game.

Inductees will be former basketball star Jordan Canfield, former three-sport athlete John Waltz and former Topeka Capital-Journal sportswriter Pete Goering.

Washburn’s win against the Tigers was their biggest of the season, as the Ichabods have to treat every game like a playoff game if they want to make the playoffs. They got the win in front of a rowdy Homecoming and Octoberfest crowd.

The Tigers got on the board first, but the Ichabods were quick to respond. Fort Hays would have its last lead, 14-10, in the second quarter. The Ichabods came back with 10 unanswered points to finish out the half, 24-14.

That would be the closest Fort Hays would come as Washburn extended it’s lead to as much as 38-17 in the third quarter.

Washburn’s  latest victory, its first MIAA win of the season, pulled the Ichabods out of last place in the MIAA, as both Missouri Southern and Truman State are still winless in the MIAA. The Bods currently sit in eighth place, with the sixth and seventh spots tied between FHSU and Pittsburg State, both of which have the same MIAA record with one more non-conference win than Washburn. Central Missouri sits atop the standings with Northwest Missouri State. Washburn’s Homecoming competitor sitting firmly in second place after a demonstrative 42-0 win against Missouri Western last Saturday. Missouri Western beat Washburn 36-33 in Topeka, while Central Missouri beat the Bods 55-45 in Warrensburg, Mo.

The Ichabods will once again look to rally behind Vershon Moore, sophomore running back, who carried them to victory against FHSU with 28 carries for 171 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Dane Simoneau, junior quarterback, looked sterling yet again, throwing 11-for-21 for 222 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Joe Hastings, a sixth-year senior receiver, continued to put up big numbers of his own, grabbing six of Simoneau’s 11 completions for a total of 126 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Against UNO, Washburn will hope to get its pass defense back in control as the Ichabods have only intercepted two passes this season while giving up 1,572 yards. The defense has been able to limit opposing rushers to only 416 yards, however, and on average gives up only 397.6 total yards per game. In comparison, the Washburn offense produces 494 yards of total offense per game behind solid individual efforts by Moore and Hastings. In the five games Washburn has played, Moore has rushed 116 times for 694 yards and eight touchdowns, while Hastings has caught 38 balls for 711 yards and five touchdowns.

Following their matchup with UNO, Washburn hits the road again to face Pittsburg State Oct. 16 at 2:20 p.m. The game will be televised on the MIAA TV Network (Cox Channel 22).