Warriors defeat Cougars 21-14
By Sparta Live | August 30, 2010 12:00 am
The Warriors may be a young team, but they showed one sure sign they are growing up.
Before WCHS had even ran one offensive play, the Warriors found themselves trailing 14-0 on the road. This group of Warriors, however, had one single thought in this game and it wasn’t giving up. It was winning and they did just that.
They battled back and tied the score before the half and with seven minutes left in the contest, senior running back, Jordan Armstrong capped off the game winning drive with a four-yard jaunt to the end zone. He then stepped back and added the extra point. The Warrior defense bent, but never broke at the end as WCHS held on for the 21-14 victory.
The offensive yards were relatively even in the contest with WCHS tallying 221 yards of offense and Campbell County netting 240. The Cougars did have a big edge in time of possession having control of the ball over nine minutes more than the Warriors in the contest. They also had 17 first downs to only seven by the Warriors.
But the big number is the one that shows on the scoreboard when the final horn sounds and WCHS had the better one there.
The win was definitely a team victory as numerous people contributed. Three different players scored the three touchdowns and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
However, early in the game, the outcome didn’t appear to be headed toward such a favorable one.
Campbell County took the opening kick and literally ran over the Warriors on the opening drive of the contest. All nine plays on the drive went for positive yardage. The drive covered 69 yards and took 4:16 off the clock ending with a three-yard touchdown. They then added the extra point for the 7-0 advantage.
Things only got worse for WCHS. The Cougars’ pooch kick was mishandled and they recovered at the Warrior 39-yard line. Eight plays later, they were back in the end zone, this time on a two yard run. The PAT was good and with 3:49 left in the first quarter, Campbell County led the Warriors 14-0.
The Warriors finally got to run an offensive play with 3:47 left in the first quarter. The drive was, however, a three and out.
Campbell County went to the air on the second play of the next drive, but the pass was intercepted by sophomore defensive back, Zach Hampshire. That pick set up the first Warrior score of the game and was a momentum changer.
On the third play of the ensuing drive, sophomore running back, Devon Davidson, climbed the ladder behind a Cougar defender and plucked Conor Sparkman’s pass away and raced to the end zone for the 42-yard touchdown. Armstrong added the point after pulling the Warriors to within a touchdown, 14-7, with 11:19 left in the first half.
Campbell County used a 27-yard pass play to get into Warrior territory on their next drive, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty later in the drive backed them up near midfield. They would have to punt.
The Warriors would need only three plays to strike again. Another sophomore, Kayne Tollison, took the handoff and raced around the end and all the way down the sideline for the 66-yard touchdown run. Armstrong’s point after tied the score at 14 with 5:33 left in the second quarter.
Even though no points were scored the rest of the way in the first half, there was still plenty of action.
Campbell County broke a long run and got the ball all the way down inside the ten. The Warrior defense held on four straight plays inside the 10 and forced the Cougars to turn the ball over on downs at the four.
On third down, Sparkman tried to make his way through the middle, but the ball popped loose and the Cougars recovered at the 12. WCHS got the ball right back when Patrick Patterson recovered a Campbell County at the 21.
The teams went into the half tied at 14.
The Warriors were poised to have the ball to start the second half, but could not recover the onside kick. The Cougars started the half in possession of the ball at the Warrior 45. The defense stepped up and forced a three and out. WCHS also went three and out on their opening possession, but Armstrong’s punt was fumbled and Bradley Barker recovered for the Warriors at the Cougar 48.
The teams traded punts for the next four series. One of those saw the Warriors miss a couple of great opportunities. A dropped touchdown pass and a touchdown run negated by a penalty on the same drive left the Warriors thinking about what could have been and the score was still tied at 14.
With 11:49 to go in the game following a Cougar punt, the Warriors began what turned out to be the game winning drive at their own 33-yard line. The drive, though punctuated by Armstrong’s run, had key plays by everyone who touched the ball. Davidson got it started with a 30 yard run deep into Cougar territory. Dillon Vance and Kayne Tollison teamed up for the next first down. A key play on the drive came with WCHS facing a fourth and seven from the 23-yard line. Sparkman appeared to be sacked, but fought off the would be tackler and in a Tebow-esque move ran over three defenders for the first down all the way down to the nine. Tollison went the first five yards and then Armstrong added the final four for the go-ahead touchdown. He knocked through the extra point for the 21-14 lead with 7:07 left in the contest.
The Warriors held the Cougars off on the next drive when Travis Howard recovered a fumble at the 40, but three plays later, WCHS gave the ball back.
The Cougars went to work on a drive deep into Warrior territory. Two different times, the drive was kept alive by pass interference penalties, the second of which came on fourth down inside the 30-yard line. That gave the hosts a first down at the 13-yard line. Davison and Hampshire had pass break ups on the first two attempts and then Sparkman picked off the third attempt in the end zone preserving the win.
All that was left was the victory formation and a lot of celebrating.
The Warriors picked up 179 yards on the ground and 42 through the air. The leading rusher was Kayne Tollison with five carries for 86 yards.
Sparkman led the team with 10 tackles while Tollison added nine.
A very happy Coach Tracy Malone talked about the win.
“We struggled on special teams tonight and I take responsibility for that. We have to get that fixed. They went up 14-0, but our kids battled back. I felt at the half we could wear them down. Our kids stayed positive. Coach Frasier called a heck of a game defensively. Our whole staff did a great job. Our offensive line grew up in the second half. It’s a big plus getting Zack Young back. I feel good for our kids. We had a lot of kids contribute to this win. The kids are excited. We have to get back to work and get ready for a big one next Friday.”
The Warriors travel to Cookeville for their annual battle with their archrivals Friday.
WC – 0 14 0 7 – 21
CC – 14 0 0 0 – 14
CC – 3-yard run (PAT good), 7:47
CC – 2-yard run (PAT good), 3:49
WC – Sparkman to Davidson 42-yard pass (Armstrong PAT), 11:19
WC – Tollison 66-yard run (Armstrong PAT), 5:33
WC – Armstrong 4-yard run (Armstrong PAT), 7:07
First Downs 7 17
Rushes-Yds. 34-179 42-176
Passing 42 64
Comp-Att-Int. 2-6-0 3-12-2
Total Yards 221 240
Punts-Avg. 4-28 3-30.5
Fumbles Lost 2-2 2-2
Penalties-Yds. 6-75 3-45
Records: WC 1-1, CC 0-2
Rushing: WC – Tollison 5-86, Sparkman 13-41, Davidson 7-29, Armstrong 7-18, Howard 1-1, Vance 1-4. CC – #3 4-67, #36 13-44, #8 14-37, #7 5-15, #2 5-11, #52 1-2.
Passing: WC – Sparkman 2-CC 6-42-1-0, #8 6-18-64-0-2.
Receiving: WC – Davidson 1-42, Howard 1-0. CC #10 2-16, #22 1-27, #5 1-3, #1 1-14, #2 1-4.
Tackles: WC – Sparkman 10, tollison 9, Pryor 8, Patterson 8, Selby 7.
Sacks/Tackles for loss: WC – Howard 3, Tollison 3, Roberts 2.
Interceptions: WC – Sparkman, Hampshire.
Fumble Recovery: WC – Howard, Patterson, Barker.