OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – Sidelined by academic ineligibility the last two weeks, Xavian Washburn returned to Daegu’s lineup Friday with a flourish.
Primarily a defensive standout, the senior was inserted at running back in the third quarter and responded with 104 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, and blocked a punt that he recovered in the end zone for another score, lifting the Warriors to a 48-7 rout at Osan American.
“He had a monster game,” said coach Ken Walter of the Warriors (2-5 overall, 2-1 league), who swept the season series from Osan and are still alive for the DODDS Korea title.
Washburn “had been champing at the bit to get back in the lineup. He ran the rock hard. No hesitation.”
Friday’s was the kind of victory that Walter said he’d been seeking all season, and it came with the team’s leading rusher, Ronald McLean, out with a twisted ankle. The Warriors did not lose a fumble nor throw an interception for the first time this season.
“I told the coaches that we needed a signature victory, a breakout game sometime this season with these young guys,” Walter said. “It was a great game for us.”
Washburn ran for third-quarter touchdowns of 20, 18 and 34 yards. “That pretty much blew it up,” Walter said.
Quarterback Caleb Page completed his only pass attempt for 30 yards and ran 14 times for 175 yards, including a 7-yard TD run. Caleb Gosserand caught that pass and added 60 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
“A lot of people stepped up tonight,” Walter said.
The bright spot for the Cougars (0-6, 0-3) came at the end of the first quarter on E.J. Basham’s 32-yard touchdown run, one of three times Osan ventured into Daegu’s red zone.
“We were moving the ball in the first half,” Cougars coach Duke Allen said. “But we imploded in the third quarter and Daegu took advantage.”
The Warriors next visit Seoul American on Friday, then on Oct. 22, Osan plays a rare Monday home game against the Singapore American All-Stars.