Washburn made its new turf look extra good. Playing the first varsity game on the shiny surface, the Millers glided to a 33-6 victory over Minneapolis South on Friday.
Eager to finally get a chance to move the ball on the turf, the Millers went for it all on their opening offensive play. Good field position placed them on the Tigers' 40-yard line, and within seconds they were in the end zone.
"First [Washburn] play of the game, first TD on the new field, that's something to be proud of," wide receiver Jamison Whiting said about his 40-yard touchdown reception to kick off the Millers' big offensive night. "It's so much different than the grass. I felt a lot faster."
His speed was featured again in the fourth quarter when he collected his second touchdown reception of the night, this time for 10 yards.
Morley Mathewson completed eight passes for 134 yards.
Washburn running back Jeff Jones made his season debut in a big way after missing Week 1 with eligibility issues. The coaching staff benched Jones for the first half, but he still rushed for more than 100 yards. His biggest run counted for six -- a 45-yard dash down the left side of the field. It came after South had given up a safety just moments earlier to trail 27-0 early in the third quarter.
"I definitely feel like I had something to prove," Jones said after compiling more yards than all of South's offense. "It was really exciting to be out there with the team."
Washburn's Raymonte Maynard filled in well in the first half, running for 68 yards on seven carries as the Millers built the early lead.
It was a statement victory for Washburn, which has won 11 consecutive City Conference championships. The Millers had caught wind of the Tigers' desire to join the Lake Conference and weren't impressed.
A disappointing kicking game cost the Tigers in the first quarter. Their first punt traveled negative yards, with the next three averaging just 16 yards. Washburn scored after each of the faulty kicks.
South's lone score came in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Hockett's fifth completed pass was a 27-yard TD to Kyle Helmstetter.
"We didn't find our spark until late in the game," South freshman running back Payton Bowdry said. "I don't think we'll lose another game."