District 5-6A’s second leading rusher was on the other side of the ball last season, but defenders certainly know Braxton Washington is on Timber Creek’s offense this year.
Washington was a strong safety in his sophomore season, and it wasn’t until the final four games last year that the hard-running Falcons player found time in the backfield.
The power back said he put on about 40-50 pounds since his sophomore year. That growth helped the Timber Creek coaches make the easy decision to move Washington to running back. He’s now 5-11 and 215 pounds.
Washington increased his season rushing total to 1,089 yards with 13 touchdowns following last Friday’s game with Justin Northwest.
Many of Washington’s yards have come with opposing would-be tacklers draped across him.
He said since the start of the season he’s dropped a little bit of weight, helping with his quickness and making certain he’s in shape.
Washington has to be in shape to carry defenders and the ball, sometimes as many as 44 times in a game. He has a total of 207 carries, with the next highest amount not even half the amount (Caleb Collins’ 68 carries).
The game with the record number of carries was against Byron Nelson, a five-overtime affair resulting in Timber Creek’s first win over Nelson since the two schools opened in the same year.
The loss of a few pounds hasn’t diminished the force behind Washington’s runs.
“Braxton has played superb this season,” said Timber Creek head coach Kevin Golden. “It is hard to bring him down with one tackler.”
With about a year under his belt as a running back, Washington said he thinks he’s found his new home.
“I enjoy the offense more because I’ve always been an offensive-minded person,” he said. “I like to make contributions to the team.”
Still, he said he’s always working on all the blocking formations and where to make the right cuts and reads.
“We’re trying to get the passing game going,” Washington said, noting he never hesitates to protect his quarterback, Caleb Collins, with his blocking.
While carrying most of the load for the offense, Washington knows there are other weapons the Falcons can use, especially when defenses put eight or nine players in the box to try and stop him.
“We’re just trying to mix it up,” he said.
With the success Washington is having, there may not need to be a reason to mix things up.
Last year, in the few games Washington played, he rushed for just under 800 yards. This year, the goal is earning a playoff spot and moving up his All-District status from second team up to a first-team status.
Washington’s performance is certainly deserving of the honor and there’s still enough schedule left to climb into a spot for the postseason.
“I think we can make the playoffs,” Washington said. “There have been upsets and unpredictable games.”