Northeastern State's first trip across midfield came by way of a penalty. It also came in the third quarter.
That was the RiverHawks' night in a nutshell at Doc Wadley Stadium.
No. 22 Washburn scored on offense, defense and special teams and coasted to a 48-3 rout of NSU on Gable Field.
"Everybody knows that we were banged up," NSU head coach Kenny Evans said. "We have eight starters — or players who were starters at one point — out, and we probably lost three during the game."
While Northeastern State's defense did its best to thwart Washburn's offensive efforts, the RiverHawks' offense could not generate any production on the ground or through the air. NSU finished with 159 yards of total offense on 72 plays — good enough for a 2.2 yard-per-play average.
Certainly not what Evans and Co. had in mind.
"This is a good offensive line; against Missouri Southern, we were able to block them up front and run the football," Evans said of his shaky offensive unit, which has scored only 23 points through three games.
"...We had some dropped passes, and two of them were touchdowns. We just have to make plays where they're available. If you don't capitalize on the things that people give you, then it puts you in a tough situation and you're behind in downs. And that's tough to recover from."
NSU quarterback Thor Long — making his second straight home start after the RiverHawks' season-opening quarterback Johnny Deaton suffered an injury at Pittsburg State — flung the ball all over the field while completing only 29.4 percent (10 of 34) of his passes. Long finished with 106 yards through the air, while also tossing three interceptions.
Washburn (3-0, 3-0 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) wasn't much better in the ball-control department. The Ichabods threw five interceptions, but only one led to points — which came on a 30-yard field goal by Drew Patton in the third period.
Despite a modest 370 yards of total offense, Washburn faced little resistance in its second road victory of the year.
The Ichabods' Justin Linn put the visitors in front for good with a 40-yard field goal with 6:42 left in the opening quarter.
Washburn would carry a 3-0 edge into the second quarter, where the Ichabods erased any doubt about the final outcome with 24 points. Donnie Lockhart III scored on runs of 4 and 27 yards in the span of 23 seconds early in the second period. Bryce Atagi followed with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown, and Linn capped off the quarter with a 21-yard field goal.
Patton's field goal broke the shutout in the third frame, and then Washburn went right back to scoring touchdowns.
Jamie Myers logged a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown with 4:09 left in the period.
"That's big when you can score in all three phases," Washburn head coach Craig Schurig said. "We had some points in the game where we struggled offensively, and when we did, our defense came up with a big play. Then in the second half, the punt return was big because it seemed like the momentum had shifted."
In the fourth quarter Tore' Hurst caught a 26-yard touchdown and Brad Gourley hauled in a 3-yard score for Washburn.
Northeastern State's best opportunity for a touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when wide receiver Steffon Herd dropped a pass along the left boundary. Beating his defender already 35 yards down the field, Herd let Long's pass slip through his hands.
Three points was the fewest points NSU had scored at home since a 6-0 loss to Tarleton State in 2009.
Without running back Joel Rockmore, who is out with a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, NSU's ground game yielded only 53 yards on 38 carries. Terrance Dixon was limited to 23 yards on 17 carries — a 1.4 yards-per-carry average.
"Terrance just wasn't as effective tonight," Evans said of his junior tailback from Sand Springs.
The few bright spots there were for NSU were Dylan Beers, who averaged 35.8 yards on 11 punts, and the RiverHawk defense, which collected five interceptions — the most in NSU's time in Division II football.
"A lot of the points weren't against our defense," Evans said. "There were some things (our guys) did well. I thought Kyler Harris played a good game."
Harris snagged two interceptions and logged a team-high and career-high total in tackles (13).
For Washburn, Lockhart churned out 92 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Mitch Buhler was inefficient in the passing game, completing only 10 of his 30 passes for 168 yards. He was one of three Washburn pass throwers to toss an interception.
Northeastern State will continue MIAA play on Saturday when it goes on the road at Emporia State, while Washburn will welcome Central Oklahoma to Topeka, Kan.
Washburn 48, Northeastern State 3
Wash 3 24 7 14 -- 48
NSU 0 0 3 0 -- 3
WASHBURN — Justin Linn 40-yard field goal, 6:42.
WASHBURN — Donnie Lockhart III 4-yard run (Linn kick), 12:01.
WASHBURN — Lockhart 27-yard run (Linn kick), 11:38.
WASHBURN — Bryce Atagi 35-yard interception return (Linn kick), 10:43.
WASHBURN — Linn 21-yard field goal, 3:53.
NORTHEASTERN STATE — Drew Patton 30-yard field goal, 10:18.
WASHBURN — Jamie Myers 69-yard punt return (Linn kick), 4:09.
WASHBURN — Tore' Hurst 26-yard pass from Mitch Buhler (Linn kick), 12:05.
WASHBURN — Brad Gourley 3-yard pass from Joel Piper (Linn kick), 9:19.
First downs 18 12
Rush 6 2
Pass 9 4
Penalty 3 6
Rush-yds 36-199 38-53
Pass comp 11 10
Pass att 34 34
INTs thrown 5 3
Pass yards 171 106
Total yards 370 159
Punt-avg 3-44.3 12-32.8
Fumble-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yds 7-75 9-90
Washburn: Donnie Lockhart 12-92, Noel Phillips 13-47, DaJuan Beard 1-23, Terek Hawkins 4-18, Sean McPherson 5-15, Mitch Buhler 1-4.
Northeastern State: Terrance Dixon 17-23, Thor Long 13-13, Steven Hopper 6-12, Kyler Harris 1-5, Prince McJunkins 1-0.
Washburn: Buhler 10-30-2 168, Joel Piper 1-3-2 3, Aaron Hummert 0-1-1 0.
NSU: Long 10-34-3 106.
Washburn: Tore' Hurst 6-103, Mark Fancher 2-25, Beard 1-26, Jordan Hart 1-14, Brad Gourley 1-3.
NSU: McJunkins 3-34, Jordan Robinson 2-43, Dixon 2-7, Kyle Matheson 1-9, Cruz Williams 1-7, Steffon Herd 1-6.
- Breaking News
EVENING UPDATE: Documents detail death of boy
Tahlequah detectives believe a 3-year-old boy suffered a “heinous” death Tuesday morning at the Stepping Stones Rooming House on East Chickasaw Street.
TPS superintendent addresses THS rumors
Staff writer Josh Newton spoke with Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Presley about the rumors going around Tahlequah High School.
Police say someone started rumor of gun at high school
Tahlequah Police Department is investigating allegations of threats and taking steps to make Tahlequah High School’s campus more secure today.
Mayor clarifies anti-electronic cigarette ordinance
Josh Newton just talked to Mayor Jason Nichols, who had this to say about the proposed regulation of electronic cigarettes, to be considered at the 7 p.m. Tahlequah City Council meeting:
E-cigarette ban ordinance to be considered
This issue will be considered at tonight's Tahlequah City Council meeting at 7 p.m.
Two killed in crash west of Stilwell
Two people were killed Tuesday afternoon on State Highway 51 nearly three miles west of Stilwell in Adair County.
Good morning! Here's what we'll have for you in Tuesday's Press:
Kitten adopted from Tahlequah Facebook page found rabid
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is looking for anyone who might have adopted, or had direct contact with, kittens that were advertised for adoption on the Tahlequah Online Garage Sale Facebook group, known as TOGS, on Oct. 1.
Adopting families picked up the kittens in the Walmart parking lot, according to the OSDH. The four kittens are described as approximately nine weeks old with black and white markings.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, one of the adopted kittens developed symptoms consistent with rabies and was subsequently euthanized, the OSDH said Friday. Rabies testing at the OSDH Public Health Laboratory confirmed the presence of rabies.
The fight for Veronica is over.
“Veronica is only 4 years old and has lived almost her entire life in front of the cameras,” Dusten Brown said, breaking down in tears as he read a prepared statement. “I love her too much to have her in the spotlight like this.”
With his wife and attorney by his side, Brown and Cherokee Nation assistant attorney general Chrissi Nimmo announced Thursday morning that they will not pursue any appeals or further litigation in the protracted custody battle for Brown’s 4-year-old daughter. Last month, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, a non-Native South Carolina couple who had been attempting to adopt the girl since birth, assumed physical custody of Veronica after the Oklahoma Supreme Court dissolved an emergency stay that allowed her to stay with her biological family while the appeals process played out.
“One day, you’ll read about all of this,” Brown said, addressing his daughter. “I hope you never, ever forget that I love you. My home is always your home.”
Read the complete story in Friday's Tahlequah Daily Press
- Okla. Supreme Court: Ruling on Sequoyah 'arbitrary and capricious'
- More Breaking News Headlines
- EVENING UPDATE: Documents detail death of boy