Warriors lose heartbreaker on Friday night
By Andy Southard | August 27, 2018 9:16 am
If exciting football games are to your liking, then Warrior Stadium was the place to be Friday night.
The White County Warriors (0-2) and the Warren County Pioneers (1-1) squared off on Friday night, at Dee Harris Field. The game wouldn’t be decided until the final drive of the game. With the Warriors trailing the Pioneers 13-20, with 3:36 remaining in the game, the Warriors would move the ball to their 35-yard line. However, an interception by the Pioneers safety would end the game and give the Pioneers the 20-13 win.
Big plays by the Pioneer offense were the downfall of the Warriors, and most of those big plays came via the legs of both C.J. Taylor and Eric Haywood. The sophomore and senior combo combined for 195 yards rushing. Taylor also had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.
For the Warriors, it was a team effort. The Warriors were led on the ground by senior running back Allen Shoupe. Shoupe finished the game with 18 rushes for 137 yards and one touchdown. The Warriors’ other score came when Sedryk Leftwich found Will Griggs over the middle for a score.
The Warriors would fall behind early, but their defense would keep them in the game. Warren County would receive the ball to open the game. The Pioneers drive lasted 11 plays, and they would score on third and goal from the 15-yard line. The Pioneers quarterback found Taylor, and he would scamper into the end zone, with 5:53 remaining in the game. The Pioneers would miss the extra point attempt but would lead the Warriors 6-0.
The Warriors’ first possession would last for three plays, and they would be forced to punt the ball to Taylor. However, as mentioned earlier, Taylor would take the punt return 68 yards to the end zone, and the Pioneers’ extra point would be good. The Warriors would trail the Pioneers 13-0, with 4:06 remaining in the game.
The Warriors’ second possession would lead to their first touchdown of the season. Shoupe would get the Warriors going, carrying the ball three times straight and picking up 19 yards. Leftwich would then find Michael Shank on the sideline for 10 yards. After that play, he saw Clark across the middle for another 10 yards and another Warrior first down. The Warriors handed the ball off to Caleb Charleston on the next play for seven yards. Shoupe would finish off the series with a 19-yard run and the Warriors’ first touchdown of the season. The Warriors pat was good, and the Warriors would trail the Pioneers 13-7, with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Neither team could get much going the rest of the half, as both teams would have to punt the ball twice, and both teams would head into the locker room, with the Warriors trailing the Pioneers 13-7.
In the second half, the Warriors would get the ball to start the quarter. The Warriors drove the ball down to the Pioneers’ 42-yard line thanks to some big runs by Shoupe. However, the Pioneers would knock the ball loose and would recover the fumble.
The Warriors’ defense would step up, though, and get their first interception of the game. The Warriors’ safety, D.J. Paul would dive for the ball and get the interception to give the Warriors a chance.
The Warriors’ offense, though, couldn’t move the ball and would be forced to punt. The Pioneers moved the ball down the field to the Warriors’ two-yard line, but a penalty would back them up to the seven. The Warriors’ defense would stand firm and would force the Pioneers into a field goal attempt. On the field goal attempt, the Pioneers’ snap was high, and the Warriors’ Shoupe would bring down the kicker behind the line to give the ball back to the Warriors.
The Warriors would go three and out on the series and would be forced to punt the ball back to the Pioneers. The Pioneers would drive the ball down to the Warriors’ side of the field, but the Warriors’ defense would stand strong again and would force a fumble that was recovered by the Warriors.
However, the Warriors’ offense would be stalled again, and they would be forced to punt the ball back to the Pioneers. Haywood would then take over for the Pioneers. Haywood would carry the ball two times for 57 yards and a touchdown to push the Pioneers lead to 20-7, with 9:46 remaining in the game.
The Warriors, though, would answer back with a score. Griggs would get the Warriors drive going with a 12-yard run. Leftwich would then find Nathan McCallister on a screen for two yards. After an incomplete pass, Shoupe would find running room for 11-yards and a Warriors first down. Shoupe had another big run on fourth down where he picked up eight yards to give the Warriors a first down at the Pioneers 35-yard line. Leftwich then found Griggs across the middle on a post and the Warriors second touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 20-13, with 6:14 remaining in the game.
The Pioneers’ next series was a crucial one for the Warriors if they had a chance in the game. The Warriors’ defense would stand strong and stop the Pioneers on third down to give the Warriors’ offense a chance to drive down and win the game.
However, the Pioneers’ defense would come up with an interception to preserve the 20-13 win.
The Warriors will hit the road Friday to open up region play against Summit High School. Kick off for that game is 7 p.m.