Both the Cowboys and Ichabods demonstrated offensive balance on Friday night in Topeka, Kans. The home team just had a lot more firepower in an 82- 21 romp.
Washburn improved to 2-0 and sent New Mexico Highlands to 0-2 in a dominant performance that churned out 534 yards of offense, including 284 on the ground and 250 through the air.
That overshadowed an improved effort from Chad Roanhaus’ Cowboys, who piled up 141 yards passing and 128 rushing, including a 103-yard game by Robert Grant.
Within a span of three minutes and 15 seconds, Washburn scored three touchdowns to seize control 21-0. Dane Simoneau passed to Justin Cooper for a 7-yard TD with 10:56 left in the opening period, capping a nine-play, 63-yard drive. Grant fumbled the ball away on the Cowboys’ next offensive play, and the Ichabods took over at the NMHU 25. Three plays later, Simoneau found Brad Cole for a 14-yard strike.
Grant ran for a 19-yard first down conversion on the next Highlands series. But the Cowboys ended up having to punt, and Washburn’s Brody Schuler blocked it. Terrence Lowe recovered the ball and ran it back for a score. Stev Ivanisevic’s extra point made it 21-0 at the 7:41 mark.
Ivanisevic tacked on a 27-yard field goal for a 24-0 cushion with 1:08 left in the first quarter.
Highlands disrupted the Ichabods’ momentum when Narciso Diaz connected with Travis Lee on a 26-yard bomb at the 10:20 mark of the second quarter. Luis Marin’s point-after try made it 24-7.
But Washburn responded immediately, and on the second play of the ensuing series, Marcus Mau torched the Cowboy defense for a 70-yard scamper to the end zone.
Another blocked punt led to a safety and a 33-7 margin. Washburn quickly made it 40-7 on a 19-yard Simoneau TD toss to Lloyd Bias. After NMHU fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Ichabods capitalized again, finishing a drive with a 1-yard Brad Haug score.
Another Cowboy fumble led to a Vershon Moore 4-yard touchdown run. And then the third blocked NMHU punt of the evening led to a Simoneau-to-Schuler score from 8 yards out. At halftime, it was 61-7.
The Cowboys battled on, taking the first possession of the third quarter 75 yards in 12 plays and finishing with a Jordan Mendoza goal-line TD throw to Jake Dericek.
Washburn backup QB Cameron Kasel guided the Ichabods to two more scores by the end of the period.
Trailing 75-14 early in the fourth quarter, NMHU found the end zone a third time on Grant’s 4-yard TD run with 11:11 left.
Highlands opens its league and home schedules Saturday vs. Mesa State College. Kickoff is 1 p.m.