A Wide Receiver Showcase: Washington & Jackson
KATY – The acrobatics of Parker Washington and the speed of Cody Jackson are marvels to see in person.
To see it in the same night on the same field is just a treat.
The duo faced off for a second-straight season – both receivers going for over 100 yards a year ago (Jackson winning the individual battle with 142 yards and two touchdowns) – and did not disappoint.
The Penn State-commit Washington finished with six receptions for 145 yards and two scores, while the Oklahoma-commit Jackson had three catches for 105 yards and one score and a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown in a 49-35 victory for Fort Bend Travis over Foster on Thursday night at Katy ISD's Rhodes Stadium.
"Between Ryan (Stubblefield) and Cody (Jackson) and Eric (Rodriguez) and Parker (Washington), that's two of the best combinations you have in the city, if not in the state," Fort Bend Travis coach Trey Sissom said.
Jackson got the first tally of the night.
The junior broke free on a route and came open down the middle. Ryan Stubblefield hit Jackson in stride for a 61-yard touchdown to open the scoring for the Falcons. His second score would come later in the fourth quarter for 62 yards, pulling away from defenders.
"It was alright, but I'm not satisfied about it," Jackson said. "I could have done better. Could have gotten open a little bit more."
The final highlight of the night for Jackson came on a late punt return.
Jackson caught the ball around the 28 on the far side of the field and started back towards the Foster sideline. Once there, Jackson got behind three or four blockers, directing blocks down the field before breaking into the open for the score.
"When he fielded that punt, that's why he's back there," Foster coach Shaun McDowell said. "He's a dynamic player and our guys did a great job on that punt return."
Washington, who had recorded just one catch on a short shovel pass, which went for 37 yards because of his pure speed, hadn't done much since the opening drive.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, facing a third and goal from the six, Fort Bend Travis quarterback Eric Rodriguez rolled to his right and fired it towards Washington. For a normal receiver the pass may have fallen to the turf.
Washington isn't a normal receiver.
The senior reached out with one hand and ripped it out of the air, receiving oohs and ahs from the handful of scouts and media members in the press box.
"I'd like to say coaching has something to do with it but it doesn't," Sissom said while smiling from ear to ear. "He's one of a kind. We're very fortunate to have him playing for us because he does stuff that everybody on the sidelines is like 'wow'.
"We think we've seen it all and then he'll do something like that catch down in the endzone that was unbelievable."
Washington's other catch that caught everyone's attention came later in the second quarter when he reached straight up into the sky and pulled down a very high pass for a first down.
"Parker's going to have a great career," McDowell said. "We're excited for him as he goes on to the next level and say that we played against him."
When Travis needed to pull away from Foster, Washington provided big catch after big catch.
Leading 35-20 late in the fourth quarter, Rodriguez found Washington for what ended up being the dagger – a 62-yard catch and run for a touchdown over the middle. It was the second play of that drive and the one that virtually sealed the win.
"It all comes back to my quarterback," Washington said. "We're always on the same page and he delivered it to me. I just wanted to make the play for him."
With the schools only being eight miles a part there are a lot of times that these players will see each other.
Between Foster and Fort Bend Travis, Washington said they are all friends and hang out. With him and Jackson, Washington described it as a small connection between him and Jackson where they talk every now and then.
When they are on the field together, the duo pushes each other with big play after big play.
"You see a big play, you want to make another big play and just keep the streak going," Washington said with a laugh.
"It's good, it's a great matchup for me," Jackson added. "When he does something spectacular, I hold myself highly and I need to do something like that."