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VIDEO: George Washington celebrates Senior Night with easy win over Bassett

Senior Willie Edmunds finished his night in style, scoring a pair of touchdowns, while senior Sha’Kobe Hairston celebrated his night with a 63-yard touchdown reception …

George Washington junior Donavan Howard hauls in a pass during the third quarter of GW’s contest against Bassett on Senior Night. Photo: Davin Wilson/River City Sports.

DANVILLE, Va. — Even the most ardent George Washington High School football fan would have to go way back to find out the last time GW played a Tuesday night game if it’s even happened in the first place.

That changed Tuesday as the Eagles welcomed Bassett into J.T. Christopher Stadium for a Piedmont District matchup.

Given the unusual game date, it only made sense GW received scoring contributions from unusual suspects as the Eagles’ defense and special teams units each scored touchdowns in GW’s 48–20 rout of Bassett on Senior Night.

George Washington’s Donavan Howard (19) and Jalen Strange (12) talk about some of the difference makers in GW’s win over Bassett Friday night. Video: Davin Wilson/River City Sports.

Nearing the end of the first quarter, the Eagles’ special teams got in on the action when they blocked a Bengals punt and junior Shyheim Watlington scooped the ball up for a 24-yard score. GW’s defense got involved next as junior Donavan Howard picked off a pass and went 26 yards for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 34–7 cushion heading into the break.

Bassett (2–2, 2–1 Piedmont) didn’t pay any attention to its halftime deficit as it opened the second half with a nine-play, 63-yard drive that ended in senior Darius Hairston’s 14-yard reception that made it a 34–14 game with 7:29 left in the third.

GW junior quarterback Jeb Byrnes drops back for a pass in the first half of GW’s matchup against Bassett on Senior Night Tuesday. Photo: Davin Wilson/River City Sports.

GW (4–1, 4–0) went three-and-out on its ensuing possession, and the Bengals’ offense repaid the favor, stringing together an impressive 86-yard drive, capped by Ja’ricous Hairston’s 1-yard run at the 2:57 mark.

In spite of the two unanswered scores, the Eagles made sure they sent their 12 seniors out on the right foot, closing the game with a pair of unrequited touchdowns that helped them seal the game.

After forcing a Bassett fumble, GW further took the wind out of Bassett’s sails, when Howard hauled in a Byrnes’ pass at midfield and took it the rest of the way for a 70-yard score that extended the Eagles’ lead to 41–20 with 1:31 on the clock.

Edmunds closed out the game with his 1-yard touchdown run with eight minutes remaining.

Byrnes and senior Sha’Kobe Hairston got together for a 63-yard score on a flea flicker on GW’s first play from scrimmage to make it 7–0. Edmunds doubled down on the Eagles’ lead with his 11-yard touchdown run and Watlington’s return on the blocked punt capped off a string of 21 unanswered first-quarter points for GW.

GW senior Willie Edmunds breaks down the sidelines for a first down near the end of the Eagles’ matchup against the Bengals Tuesday night. Photo: Davin Wilson.

Keshaun Valentine’s 82-yard kickoff return got Bassett on the board midway through the second quarter to help the Bengals make it a two-possession game at 21–7. However, junior Jakobe Dixon quickly negated the score, finding the end zone from 22 yards out to steal the momentum.

GW will have to wait a bit before knowing whether or not its Piedmont showdown against Halifax County will take place. Meanwhile, the Eagles are slated to be the second or third seed in the Region 4D playoffs beginning next week.

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VA/NC Sports. Features. Columns.

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