WASHINGTON — One pass.
That was the extent of the Washington football team's aerial "attack" Saturday as the Panthers pummeled Decatur MacArthur 59-28 in a second-round Class 5A playoff game at Babcook Field.
Washington (9-2) moves on to the quarterfinals for the third straight year and seventh time in 11 years. The Panthers will play at Richwoods (7-4) next week after the Knights beat Morton 49-28 on Saturday.
The loss to Washington ended a remarkable turnaround season for MacArthur, which finished 8-3 and won a playoff game for the first time since 2008 after going 1-8 each of the last two years.
Washington rushed 51 times for 396 yards against MacArthur in a concerted effort to keep the ball out of the hands of Generals quarterback Armon Brummett, who is headed to Northern Illinois to continue his football career, probably as a defensive back.
"I can see why Northern likes him," said Washington coach Darrell Crouch.
Sam Walter and Josh Schellenberg each ran for three touchdowns for the Panthers. Walter also had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Schellenberg returned a kickoff 74 yards to set up a Washington touchdown.
Walter had 15 carries for 149 yards. Schellenberg had 14 carries for 155 yards. Teammate Brendan Durr had 11 carries for 56 yards.
"We're good at it. That's been our game the last few weeks," Walter said about Washington's rushing attack, which accounted for 362 of the team's 419 total yards in the Panthers' playoff opener against Tinley Park.
MacArthur coach Derek Spates was impressed.
"Washington owned the line of scrimmage against our defense," he said. "They executed their plays very well. That's a good football team we played."
Panthers quarterback Caleb Fisher's lone pass Saturday was a 9-yard TD strike to Logan Klein with 9.7 seconds left in the first half.
"Caleb had a pretty good quarterback rating today," Crouch said.
Klein's catch came shortly after he made a key defensive play.
MacArthur's Ray Neal Jr. caught a pass from Brummett and was headed for the end zone when he was tackled by Klein inside Washington's 1-yard line.
The ball squirted away from Neal Jr. and out of the end zone for a touchback.
Washington started a drive on its own 20 with 1:06 left in the half and scored on the Fisher-to-Klein pass that gave the Panthers a 31-13 lead at halftime.
MacArthur closed within 38-28 on a 26-yard scramble for a touchdown by Brummett on the first play of the fourth quarter.
But Walter ran back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, and that put a damper on the Generals' comeback.
"I saw an opening up the middle and our blockers did a great job," Walter said about the return.
Brummett gave Washington's defense fits with his scrambling ability and precision passing. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, completing 19-of-27 passes for 255 yards.
"He (Brummett) was tough to contain," Crouch said.
The Panthers punished Brummett when they could catch him, sacking him nine times. Max Eccles and Will Crouch each had two sacks. The other sacks were by Jacob Urban, Cam Boers, Gabe Robison, Aaron Boley and Durr.
Brummett has a tendency to run holding the football away from his body and he paid the price in the second quarter when Will Crouch slapped the ball away and forced a fumble that was recovered by Urban.
"Coach Stevens (Washington defensive coordinator Todd Stevens) was telling our guys all week to go after the ball if he (Brummett) carries it like that," Darrell Crouch said.
Brummett's fumble came one play after MacArthur's Ricky McKellar sacked Fisher, caused a fumble and recovered it. That was the Panthers' lone turnover of the day.
Fisher, who plays in the secondary on Washington's defense, atoned for his fumble with a huge play against Brummett.
It was a diving interception on the Panthers' 1-yard line on MacArthur's first possession of the second half.
The pick set up an 11-play, 99-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Walter and a 38-13 Washington lead.
Washington placekicker Joe Basso kicked a 19-yard field goal to open the scoring and was perfect on seven PAT attempts. Drew Yoder also had a PAT for the Panthers.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.