Warrior football breaks into the win column!
By Sparta Live | September 17, 2012 12:00 am
When the final horn sounded Friday night at the Coffee County football stadium, the Warrior football team finally had cause to celebrate.
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After a rough four weeks against some pretty stout competition, WCHS found their way into the win column with a 12-7 victory over the Coffee County Red Raiders. The game was not just the first win of the season or the first victory of Matthan Houser’s head coaching career, but it was a District 6AAA win, which keeps the Warriors in the hunt for not only a playoff berth, but the district title.
Houser noted, “It’s a huge win for us for so many reasons. Obviously, it is our first win, but it also keeps our playoff hopes live. If we can win out in district games, we are in great shape to go to the playoffs. We still have a lot of football left to play. We have to go into each week with the same heart and determination and give ourselves a chance to win. If we do that, I feel good about how we can compete.”
Going into their fifth game of the season, there were plenty of changes. The offense, still adjusting to life without quarterback Devon Davidson, moved to a more traditional I-formation and used both Jake Young and Cole Bohannon at quarterback. The defense also dialed up the pressure.
In the end though, it was a solid team effort that got the Warriors the “W.”
The Warrior defense limited the Raiders to just one touchdown in the game and it was in the closing minutes of the first half. The Warrior offense meanwhile scored one touchdown in each half and controlled time of possession. In fact, the Raider offense ran only 11 plays the entire second half.
For the game, the Warrior defense forced three Coffee County turnovers, one of which secured the game. They held the Raiders to just 33 yards rushing on 24 carries in the game. All District running back, Deangelo Rozier was limited to just 42 yards on 18 carries.
The Raiders had a total of 191 yards of offense in the game with 158 yards coming through the air. WCHS held them to just 53 yards in the second half and 46 of those came on one play.
The Warriors, as has been the case for the past two seasons, did most of their damage on the ground, but did have some key passing yards. Of the 272 yards of offense the Warriors amassed, 224 came on the ground led by the 134 yards from Kayne Tollison on 27 carries.
WCHS, who trailed 7-6 at the half, scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown on the first possession of the second half.
The 10-play drive had a couple of big plays to keep the drive going. The first was a 26-yard run by Tollison on the second play of the drive. Then after runs by Tollison and Blake Lynn picked up the second first down, it took some creativity to get the ball down in scoring position. Facing a fourth and nine, Houser called for a reverse. Tommy Odom took the pitch from Tollison and ran for the first down, but a holding penalty negated the first down and left the Warriors facing a fourth and long.
This time, Houser dialed up a halfback pass. Lynn took the pitch and threw toward the end zone to Kade Howard. A Coffee County defender batted the ball up, but Howard not only hauled in the catch, but also stayed in bounds giving WCHS a first and goal from the three-yard line.
Two plays later, Jake Young kept and plunged in from one yard out. The touchdown came with 6:51 left in the third quarter. After having missed the extra point earlier, the Warriors faked the kick, but Cole Bohannon’s two-point conversion pass was no good. The Warriors however, led 12-7.
With Lynn’s pass completion, the Warriors actually had three different people complete passes during the game.
The first half saw the Warrior offense have their chances, but only be able to convert one touchdown.
The two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first quarter. The Warrior offense did miss an early opportunity. Coffee County received the opening kick and on the third play from scrimmage turned the ball over. Raider quarterback, Peyton Meeker, was chased out of the pocket by several Warrior defenders. While scrambling, he was hit from behind by Zac Wright, who knocked the ball loose. The bouncing ball was finally fell on by C.J. Sims. WCHS took over at the Coffee County 32 yard line.
The Warrior offense managed one first down, but then turned the ball over on downs at the 18-yard line.
The Warrior defense allowed a couple of Raider first downs on the next drive, but held them on fourth and one from midfield and got the ball back for the offense.
After each team traded punts, the Warriors put together the first scoring drive of the game.
They took possession with 23 seconds left in the first quarter and executed a nine-play 61-yard drive that culminated with a 26-yard touchdown run by Tollison. Luke Cantrell’s point after attempt was no good, but the Warriors had taken a 6-0 lead with 9:12 left in the first half.
Coffee County tried to answer on the ensuing drive. They converted a fourth down and would pick up four of their eight first half first downs on the drive. However, the defense bent, but did not break. After getting down inside the 15-yard line, the WCHS defense came up with another fourth down stop.
The offense took over at their own 14-yard line. Tollison opened with an 11 yard run and Lynn added a 20-yard scamper. However, three plays later, Lynn was hit hard near midfield and lost the ball. Coffee County recovered at the 45-yard line and put together their lone scoring drive of the game.
They took possession with 2:16 left in the half and began the drive with a 20-yard pass completion. In act, their entire yardage on the eight-play drive came through the air. They scored on a 13-yard pass from Meeker to Jesse Brown with 35 seconds left in the half. The point after was good giving the Raiders the 7-6 lead at the half.
That lead would be short lived when play resumed though with the aforementioned scoring drive to start the third quarter.
The teams were only flagged for one penalty in the first half and that was against the Warriors for five yards on a sack of the quarterback.
After Young’s touchdown to open the second half, the Warrior defense would have forced back to back three and outs for the Raiders, but a roughing the punter penalty kept their first drive of the second half alive. That penalty would give Coffee County one of their only two first downs in the entire second half. Even after the penalty kept the drive going, it was short lived as well. Meeker tried to go deep on the very next play and the pass was picked off by Kade Howard deep in Warrior territory. He returned the ball all the way down to the Raider 33-yard line.
The Warriors couldn’t move the ball and turned it over on downs to the Raiders, but the defense held them to three plays yet again.
The Warriors responded with an 11-play drive and got the ball down to the 37 of the Raiders, but the drive stalled there. Hunter Cantrell, who had missed the last three games with a broken hand, came on for his second punt of the game. The punt sailed into the end zone.
Coffee County had possession of the ball with 6:42 left in the game and 80 yards between them and the end zone.
They got out of the hole they were facing quickly with a 46 strike from Meeker to Brown again getting the ball all the way down to the Warrior 34-yard line.
The defense took over from there. After a three-yard run by Rozier, things would take a Warrior turn. The next pass went to Rozier, but he was bottled up by River Boruff and rapped for a six-yard loss. On the very next play, the Warrior defense dialed up the pressure and again forced Meeker out of the pocket. Wright forced his second fumble of the night and this time, Blake Newman fell on the ball getting the ball back for the Warriors with 5:01 to play and their five point lead still intact.
WCHS took possession of the ball at their own 42-yard line and began to chew up the clock on the ground. Three straight runs by Tollison netted a first down. They picked up another first down on a scramble by Bohannon. A 15-yard run by Tollison got the ball down to the 10-yard line with less than two minutes. A penalty moved the ball to the five-yard line. With Coffee County only able to stop the clock one time, Houser was content to run the clock out and not ever let the Raiders touch the ball again as his team escaped with the 12-7 win.
Houser talked about his team’s win and the keys, “The biggest key tonight was definitely the amount of energy and effort we played with. We preached all week abut playing fast and physical and finishing. We didn’t finish the first half and we addressed that at the half. The guys played with a chip on their shoulder. The defense did a phenomenal job of stopping them. Coach Hackett and all our defensive coaches did a great job of adjusting to what they did on offense. We felt we could run off tackle on them. We stayed with it and we were getting enough. We weren’t breaking a lot of big runs, but we did enough to keep the chains moving. Anytime you can run 60-something play and keep the ball away from the other team, you have a good chance to win.”
In addition to 134 yards rushing by Tollison, Lynn carried the ball 17 times for 60 yards and added 30 passing yards. He also led the team with 15 tackles.
Boruff followed with 12 stops. Zach Wright had 10 tackles and caused two fumbles. Adam Farley had nine stops including four that went for negative yardage.
Cantrell in his return to the field was just called on to punt twice and averaged 34 yards.
There were six penalties in the game and WCHS was flagged for four of them. Three were in the second half.
The Warriors ran 61 offensive plays to just 47 by the Raiders. WCHS had 14 first downs. Coffee County had nine, seven of them in the first half.
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The road gets no easier for WCHS this Friday when they travel to Livingston Academy to take on the 4-0 Wildcats, who is ranked seventh according to the Associated Press0 in Class 4A. They have scored no less than 41 points in any of their games including a 55-14 defeat of Upperman in their most recent outing.
Kick off for that game will be 7 p.m.
WC – 0 6 6 0 – 12
CC – 0 7 0 0 – 7
WC (9:12) – Kayne Tollison 26-yard run (kick failed), 9 plays, 61 yards, 3:11.
CC (:35) – Meeker to Brown 13-yard pass (kick good), 8 plays, 55 yards. 1:41
WC (6:51) – Jake Young 1-yard run (two point conversion pass failed), 10 plays, 68 yards 5:09.
14 First Downs 9
61 Total Plays 47
452-224 Rushes-Yds. 24-33
48 Passing Yds. 158
4-9-0 Comp-Att-Int. 13-23-1
272 Total Yards 191
2-34 Punts-Avg. 2-38
1/1 Fumbles Lost 2/2
4-35 Penalties-Yds. 2-20
1 Turnovers 3
Rushing: WC – Tollison 27-134, 1 TD, Lynn 17-60, Odom 1-4, Young 6-10, 1 TD, Bohannon 1-16. CC – Rozier 18-42, Meeker 4- (-13), Flowers 1-4, Simmons 1-0.
Passing: WC – Young 1-4-8-0-0, Bohannon 2-4-10-0-0. Lynn 1-1-30-0-0. CC – Meeker 13-23-158-1-1.
Receiving: WC – Boruff 3-18, K. Howard 1-30. CC – Simmons 4-43, Brown 5-93, 1 TD, Douglas 1-16, Miller 1-9, Rozier 2- (-3).
Tackles: WC – Lynn 15, Boruff 12, Wright 10, Farley 9, Davis 7.
Forced fumbles: WC -Wright 2.
Fumble Recoveries WC – Sims, Newman.
Interceptions – WC – Kade Howard.
Sacks WC – Farley 3, Wright, Matlock.