Warrior youth football finishes up regular season
By Andy Southard | September 28, 2017 7:50 am
The Warrior youth football teams traveled up the mountain to face the Fentress County Bulldogs at York Institute for their final regular-season games.
The Peewee Warriors were victorious, but the junior and senior divisions didn’t come out on top. All three divisions will enter playoffs next Saturday, at Upperman. The Peewees are the second seed and will face the Upperman Bees. The juniors enter playoffs as the fourth seed playing Upperman as well. The senior division is the top seed and will face off with DeKalb County.
The senior Warriors won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Asher Kelso and Demarious Dowell opened up the defensive game making the initial stops followed up by another stop by Asher Kelso. Theo Brown grabs a foot, but the Bulldogs just keep marching downfield. Levi Griggs comes in with a tackle, but it’s not enough to stop the Bulldog first down. Brown jumps in for another couple of tackles, but the Bulldogs score their first touchdown of the game with a good passing conversion making the score 8-0.
On the Warriors’ first possession, Nate Mullins gained four yards to start the Warrior offense, but it would quickly end there with no gain after a couple of tackles for a loss and an incomplete pass. The Warriors elected to punt. Griggs, Brown, and Asher Kelso make stops again during the Bulldogs next series of play with Kayden Blaylock and Tripp Pinion making big tackles, but the Bulldogs get their second touchdown. Their pass conversion was no good making the score 14-0. Fentress County’s defense immediately snags an interception putting the ball back in Bulldogs hands. Blaylock digs his heels in to make another stop. Pinion would jump up for the interception, and now the Warriors are in control. Owen Adams gains seven yards on his first run of the game and then gets the first down. Mullins had a loss of yards, but a pass play from Pinion to Adams puts the Warriors’ on the board.
Mullins then runs in the conversion cutting the score to 14-7. Adams kicks off to Fentress County and makes his way downfield also to tackle the ball carrier. Blaylock and Keaton Sparkman team up for the tackle, but the Bulldogs gained the first down. Mike Gluff and Brown teamed up for the next play allowing minimal gain. A penalty on Sparta aided the Bulldogs. Pinion, Asher Kelso, and Brown would all make stops, but Fentress County found the end zone again before the end of the half. Their conversion was good with the score now 21-7. The Warriors have a little over a minute to make their way downfield. After a couple of quarterback keepers by Pinion, Adams came out of nowhere with a long first down run giving the Warriors hope for another touchdown, but a fumble would end the half with Bulldogs in control.
The Warriors received the ball but could not get their offensive wheels turning and turned the ball over on downs. The Warriors defense led by Blaylock were making stops, but they were unable to keep the Bulldogs from the end zone. The Bulldogs now lead 28-7. Again, the Warriors struggled offensively, and the Bulldogs put it in the end zone again making the score 35-7. With one more offensive attempt left in the game, the Warriors’ Brown, Adams, and Pinion forced their way within distance of the goal line. Griggs snagged two passes but just came up shy of the first down, and the ball was turned over on downs ending the game 35-7.
The junior Warriors’ suffered the same fate. The Warriors received the ball first but turned the ball over on downs. Eli Sparkman stepped up to stop the Bulldogs followed up by Daymon Conley. Conley would come in for the stop again, but the Bulldogs break out with a big run that was finally stopped by JoJo Dowell assisted by Charles Anderson. Despite the efforts of the Warriors defense Fentress scores and makes good on the conversion pass making the score 8-0. Kaiden Parker carries the ball for a small gain. Then a pass to Dowell comes up empty with a scramble for the ball causing a loss of yards. A penalty on the Bulldogs would help the Warriors a little, but a quarterback keeper by Exavier Gamblin was stopped way short. Warriors elect to punt. Hunter Broyles ends the initial Bulldog run followed by Gamblin on the next two plays. The Bulldogs elected to punt as well. Dowell was stopped in the backfield again. Cole Sims tried to break out but was stopped. The ball was fumbled on the next carry and recovered by Fentress in the end zone adding two more for the Bulldogs. The score is now 10-0. The Warriors defense held their ground with Conley making another nice tackle. Brian Anderson would break up a pass, and Broyles wrestled the Bulldogs to the ground making it third and 15. Sparkman jumps in again for another stop. Allen Brown dives in for a piece of action forcing the Bulldogs to turn over on downs. Only 40 seconds remaining in the half with the ball in the Warriors’ hands. They start the series with a loss of yards and an incomplete pass to Dowell. They try again with the same results. A penalty gives the Warriors a first down while another penalty on Sparta takes away the advantage. Ending the half with the Warriors down 10-0 and the ball going back into the Bulldog hands.
Despite the hard-fought efforts of Gamblin the Bulldogs break out and score another touchdown. Gamblin jumps in and stops the conversion. The score is 16-0 where it would remain. The Warriors offense was unable to get downfield again and turned the ball over quickly. The Warrior defense stays strong. Sims makes a tackle for a loss of six, and Brian Anderson makes a nice stop as well. The Bulldogs complete a pass making it third and nine. The Warrior defensive line allowed no gain and forced the turnover on downs. The Warrior offense was again unable to make anything happen and quickly turned the ball over again. Broyles led the defense on the next series hanging on to make the tackle and chasing down the runner for a loss. The ball was turned over on downs again. Gamblin keeps the ball gaining ground each time picking up the first down. Dowell also picked up a few. An incomplete pass from Gamblin to Parker is followed up by another Gamblin keeper for a first down. Sparkman made small gains, but a handoff to Dowell results in a loss of yards. Gamblin attempts another pass to save the series but is broken up, and the ball is turned over on downs. Charles Anderson saves a potential Bulldog touchdown. A penalty hinders the Bulldog drive downfield. Dowell jumps up breaking up a pass play followed by the Warrior defensive line stopping their efforts. The Warriors have the ball back and fumble on their initial play. Dowell had a nice first down run plus some but was ran out of bounds. Jack Carpenter gets his hands on the ball for a loss of one. Warriors fumble the ball after this and recover but elect to punt the ball. The defense was again led by Conley and Broyles assisted by Sims, Charles Anderson, and Parker for the last plays of the game. Dowell broke up two more passes keeping the score at 16-0. The Warriors came up short.
The Sparta Peewees would yield the only Warrior win of the day. Warriors won the toss and struck early with a long touchdown run by Griffin Adams. After big tackles in the backfield by Jose Cruz and Landon Kerr the Warriors struck again early in the second quarter making the score 12-0. Fentress scored at the end of the quarter making it 12-6. The third quarter was a defensive battle with no teams scoring. Backed up in their own territory late in the fourth quarter Tuff Crain broke a 91-yard touchdown to seal the victory 18-6. The Warriors were led on defense by Jose Cruz. Landon Kerr and Eli Sims also contributed with big tackles to cap off a great day for the Peewee Warriors.
The Warriors all made playoffs, which will start Saturday, September 30th. Peewee Warriors will play at 9:30 a.m. Juniors will play at 5 p.m., and the seniors will face off at 2:30 p.m. All games will be played at Upperman High School.