Sierra Vista honored its senior players before their final regular-season home game Thursday night.
Fabulous freshman D’Andre Washington helped make sure those seniors would get to play at home again.
Washington scored three touchdowns, set up another with a long punt return and intercepted a pass to help the Mountain Lions to a 41-19 victory over visiting Durango.
The win locked up the Southwest League’s No. 2 playoff seed for Sierra Vista (5-4, 4-1 Southwest).
“The attitude was just focus and do it for the seniors,” Washington said.
Washington had 88 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, including a 50-yard scoring run with 10:58 to play that extended the lead to 34-12.
On that play Washington ran over a defender at the 40, then streaked away from the rest of the Durango defense for the score.
He added an 11-yard TD run in the first half and caught a 5-yard scoring pass from fellow freshman Jayden Maiava with 7:35 to go.
“He’s very talented,” Sierra Vista coach John Foss said. “He was not able to play for a few weeks, so we’re really glad he was able to show what he’s capable of.”
Washington also set up the team’s first touchdown of the second half with a 66-yard punt return. That led to Maiava’s first TD strike, a 5-yard pass to Javaris Andrews, which made the score 27-12 with 7:21 to go in the third quarter.
“I played well, but the whole season I messed up,” said Washington, who intercepted a pass with 3:03 to play to seal the win. “So I just thank my teammates for holding me down and stuff.”
A pair of seniors got Sierra Vista going early, as quarterback Jordan Solomon connected with Tristen Jimenez on scoring passes of 12 and 15 yards to give the Mountain Lions a 14-0 lead.
Solomon completed 11 of 21 passes for 118 yards before giving way to Maiava at the start of the second half. Maiava completed 5 of 8 passes for 27 yards.
“Both of them are really good,” Foss said. “It’s kind of a game-to-game situation who’s going to play. We’re really lucky to have two high-caliber quarterbacks.”
Durango’s Kaden Renshaw threw two first-half TD passes to Michael Jackson, and Tau Fotu added a 27-yard TD run in the fourth quarter for the ninth-ranked Trailblazers (5-5, 4-2). Fotu finished with 147 yards on 10 carries.
“We’re just really excited,” said Foss, whose team closes out the regular season at Spring Valley next Thursday. “The kids played really well tonight. They played with a lot of heart and played more of a full game than we had in the past.”