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Lonnie Washington only needed a brief opening. “I had good burst of speed today, and I just wanted to hit the hole hard,” the senior Perspectives running back said.
Washington scored three touchdowns and rushed for 223 yards on 20 carries as the Warriors captured their first football conference title in the Chicago division by smashing Hyde Park 30-14 Saturday afternoon at Stagg.
Perspectives won an Inter-City conference title two years ago.
Washington’s fleet running capped a historic day for Perspectives (7-2, 7-0 Windy City), which completed an undefeated conference mark and qualified for the state playoffs — in Class 6A — for the first time.
“It feels great,” Washington said of the conference mark. He carried the ball only four times in the second half as Perspectives thoroughly dominated the Thunderbirds, holding leads of 16-0 at the break and 30-0 midway through the third quarter.
Washington has amassed 22 touchdowns on the season. His 35-yard burst propelled the Warriors to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the offense line, because they held their blocks and gave me the room,” Washington said.
Freshman outside linebacker Hakeem Adebompe registered the first points when he tackled Hyde Park quarterback Antoine Cobb in the end zone for a safety.
Perspectives caught a break late in the second quarter. Hyde Park defensive back John Perisee appeared to record his second interception against Perspectives quarterback Andre Veasley. Officials overruled the play because of a roughing-the-passer penalty against the Thunderbirds (6-2, 5-2).
Veasley calmly drove the Warriors down the field, keyed by his 26-yard pass to Jimmie Williams. On second-and-goal, he sprinted around left end for a four-yard touchdown run as time expired in the second half.
“I knew there wasn’t a lot of time left, so I just did what I had to in order to score there,” Veasley said.
Perspectives turned the game into a rout after Washington scored on runs of 14 and 83 yards to extend the margin to 30-0. Washington did not play in the fourth quarter.
Hyde Park (6-2, 5-2) avoided the shutout when Cobb improvised, broke the pocket and dashed down the left sideline for a 24-yard touchdown. Perisee added a fumble return touchdown in the closing minutes.
“We knew they were a good team, so we were really pumped for this game,” Veasley said.