As the Washougal High School football team broke through the ticker tape to their new turf field Friday, John Fishback Jr. had one request.
“Win one for the old Gipper,” said the son of John Fishback, the former Washougal School District superintendent for whom the stadium is named.
“My dad would have appreciated it and the support from the community for it,” he said. “I think he considered this to be one of his best achievements.”
The Panthers made the Fishback family and the Washougal community proud by beating Hudson’s Bay 35-0.
Garrett Duey had two touchdown runs and Zack Neketuk added one. Grayden Economides caught a touchdown pass from Chase Duey.
“The kids definitely noticed the difference,” said head coach Bob Jacobs. “The new field was a lot easier on their bodies and their legs.
“We appreciate the consistent support from the community. That part makes it more enjoyable for the players,” he added. “The fact that we were able to win the ball game kind of culminated the whole thing and made it extra special.”
Patrick Jones had a big night on defense for Washougal. He blocked a punt in the end zone and recovered the ball for a touchdown. Jacobs believes Jones also came up with the safety for the Panthers in the first quarter.
“Big Patrick had an 8-point night,” Jacobs said. “You don’t see that too often.”
Seven different Panthers rushed for a combined total of 276 yards. Leading rusher Bobby Jacobs sat out with a neck injury and Will Peterson missed the game because of the flu. The coach hopes to have them both back in time for Tenino Friday.
“We are going to need the best kids we can get on the field for this Tenino game. They are a very good football team,” Jacobs said. “They’re pretty good up front, their defense is tough, and their kids are tenacious and aggressive. We’re going to have our hands full. That’s for sure.”
The Panthers will be looking for some payback. Washougal lost at Tenino 55-28 last season. The Beavers have to come to Fishback Stadium Friday. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
“I know the fire and intensity is going to come out this week,” Jacobs said. “We’re really going to have to put on our hard hat, grab our lunch pail and get to work if we want to win this next game.”