Bye week allows for offensive adjustments before Fort Hays matchup

Lead on big guy Washburn running back Ra’Shawn Mosley follows his lead blocker in a practice Thursday afternoon. Mosley is averaging 5.3 yards per carry through two games, 176 yards overall with two touchdowns. Washburn kicks off its next game 1 p.m. this Saturday at Yager Stadium. Prior to that is Family Day at 10 a.m. on the Union Lawn.

Nathan Miller

After getting a much-needed win two weeks ago against the Colorado School of Mines 27-7, the Ichabods, who are 1-1, have had the past week to improve and prepare to play Fort Hays State this Saturday.

“The win helped a lot,” said Craig Schurig, head coach. “It has been nice to have this week off for extra work to make ourselves better in some areas we lack. Hopefully we are full throttle when conference hits.”

One area that needed fixing was the offense, which has been stagnant as of late. The Bods offense racked up just 369 total yards during the week one loss to No. 5 Chadron State, 34-24. By halftime of their last game the Bods had produced just one offensive touchdown against the Mines, who were picked to finish seventh in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference this year.

“During the first half, we didn’t know what to expect out of their defense since that was their first game,” said Jake Lebahn, senior wide receiver. “We expected one defense and they came out in a totally different look. We had to make a lot of adjustments at halftime, and after halftime we really started to put points on the board.”

Lebahn was on the receiving end of a 50-yard pass play by senior quarterback Jordan Brill that set up the lone first-half score two plays later, when Brill hooked up with junior wide receiver Brandon Walker for a six-yard touchdown. Lebahn is the lone senior and only receiver with extensive game experience this year.

“Our offense is starting to click right now,” said Lebahn. “This bye week we’re really working on our offense with passing routes and blocking. So hopefully this bye week will help us out, get people healthy and rest the people that are a little fatigued.”

The younger receivers stayed after practice this past Wednesday to work with Brill on their timing, an area Schurig hopes will progress over the course of the season.

“We’re trying to work on our timing with our quarterbacks and wide receivers,” said Schurig. “We have a relatively young receiving core as far as number of completions they have caught in a game. The more work they can get, the better off we will be. I think that will come along as the season goes.”

The receivers will get a chance to see if the work they’ve put in will pay off this Saturday against the Fort Hays State Tigers. The Tigers were picked to finish ninth in the conference, but after pounding Western State College 55-3 in their opener their bite may be a little bit more severe than at first glance.

“In the MIAA any team can beat any other team each week,” said Lebahn. “You have to bring it, game in and game out. You can’t take any opponent lightly. Fort Hays is going to bring it, they play hard. They played hard last year. We just have to execute and bring our A game, otherwise it could be a dogfight.”

The Bods walked over Fort Hays 37-7 last year. But with the Tigers returning 18 starters from last year, Schurig says the rematch will be more of a challenge.

“They were young last year and they have most everybody back, so they will be a year better at what they do,” said Schurig. “We’re glad to have them at home and hopefully we’re better than we were the first two weeks, because we’re going to need to be. It’s a step up conference wise. We definitely want to get off to a good start in conference.”