Washington High may not be a one-player team, but based on its opener Friday against Locke, the Generals' success this season probably will depend on quarterback Sheldon Anderson.
With Anderson throwing three consecutive interceptions, Washington spotted Locke a 12-0 lead early in the second half.
When Anderson eliminated his mistakes, Locke was overmatched as the Generals rallied for a 23-12 victory in a City nonleague game at Washington.
The 5-foot-11 Anderson passed for one touchdown and ran for another in the fourth quarter.
"I had to calm down because I wasn't taking my proper drops," said Anderson, who also made several plays at defensive back. "I was panicking under pressure at first, but we knew if we kept playing ball, things would come together."
Locke went ahead, 12-0, on a five-yard scoring run by Nelson James shortly before halftime and a 48-yard interception return for a score by Mark Thompson early in the third quarter. Then the Saints fumbled away their momentum.
Behind the running and passing of Anderson, Washington capitalized on two turnovers to cut the Saints' lead to 12-10, on a one-yard run by Tim McTyer and a 32-yard field goal by Luis Herietta.
"We had the game, but we just seemed to have our minds on something else," Thompson said.
Washington took its first lead with 8:16 remaining in the fourth quarter when Anderson completed a 39-yard pass play to Akeilon Branch to make the score 17-12.
From there, the Generals' defense took over behind the play of linebacker Wade White, who had a team-high 12 tackles. Locke never threatened again, and Washington added a touchdown on a six-yard run by Anderson with 1:36 left.
Anderson is one of 25 seniors on the Washington team that was 4-7 last season.
Said Locke Coach E.C. Robinson said: "The key to the game was our turnovers and the fact that our defense is ahead of our offense. But overall, I am pleased because we did a good job on defense, and we are not going to see a better quarterback than (Anderson) again this year."