The Washington football team lived up to its early-season ranking Friday.



The Panthers, who were rated No. 4 in the Associated Press Class 5A preseason state poll, mauled Central, 36-12, on the opening night of the season.


The Washington football team lived up to its early-season ranking Friday.

The Panthers, who were rated No. 4 in the Associated Press Class 5A preseason state poll, mauled Central, 36-12, on the opening night of the season.

Washington quarterback Isaac Fisher threw for more than 280 yards and two touchdowns at Babcook Field, and the hosts expanded on a 16-point halftime margin.

The Panthers opened the scoring when Fisher hit Bryce Wright for a 21-yard TD pass in the first quarter.

Wright was one of eight different Washington players to catch a pass. Dakota Bullard was the leader with five receptions for more than 100 yards.

After the Lions got on the scoreboard later in the first period, the Panthers scored the next 29 points.

A safety made it 9-6 before back-to-back Kyle Zimmerman TD runs in the second quarter.

Kyle Clark hauled in a seven-yard TD strike from Fisher in the third stanza before Austin Reel’s six-yard burst to the end zone in the fourth.

Fisher also surpassed 60 yards on the ground to lead all Washington ball carriers.

The Panthers had nearly 400 yards more offense than Central, which did not even reach 100 against the stout Washington defense.

Up next: The Panthers host Richwoods (0-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Knights will be desperate after a shocking 29-28 home loss to Pekin in week one.

Richwoods won a 26-9 decision last year when the series between the schools was renewed.