Sparta defeats Cookeville!
Posted By Sparta Live | August 20, 2008 12:00 am
Starting a season with a win is good. Starting a season with a win over your archrival that you haven’t beaten in four years goes far beyond good.
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The White County Middle School Warrior football team, under the direction of new head coach, Luke Dycus, a former Warrior himself, found a way to hold on for the victory over Avery Trace Tuesday night at Warrior Stadium.
In a thriller that had almost everyone in attendance on their feet, the Warriors gave up the lead with 1:15 left to play, took it back with 48 seconds left and then hung on for the 24-20 win. It was the first for the Jr. Warriors over Avery Trace since the undefeated season of 2004. When the final horn sounded and the Raider ball carrier was tackled, the Sparta team and their fans erupted into celebration. It was Friday Night Lights on Tuesday.
An ecstatic Luke Dycus composed himself to discuss the win after having been soaked by water from some of the players.
“These kids did a heck of a job,” said Dycus. “I am so proud of them. They showed a lot of heart. They’re not quitters. This is the best group of kids I have ever coached. I can’t say enough about them. Since I took this job back in the spring, we have been looking toward this game. We always have a hard time with them because they have a great program. I respect their coaches, but we hadn’t beaten them in a while. It’s Cookeville and a big rivalry. All of our coaches know what the rivalry is. We (Dycus, Brent Farley and Steve Wilson) all played for Sparta and have played in these rivalry games, so we know how big it is. My staff did a great job, but we have to give the kids the credit. They were outstanding.”
Kayne Tollison used his speed and got the bookmark scores in the game. He scored the first touchdown less than six minutes into the contest and then with the game hanging in the balance, raced 52 yards with 47.6 seconds left on the clock to steal the win back for the Warriors. The second touchdown of the game for the Warriors was a pass completion from quarterback Cole Bohannon to big tight end, Cole Young, as time expired in the first half. The game had thrills from start to finish.
The Warriors received to start the game and immediately got 15 yards tacked on to the kick off due to a face mask penalty.
WCHS started at the 48 and marched the distance to the end zone in 10 plays. The drive culminated with a 13-yard run after the option pitch to Tollison. Tyler Stoglin, who had nine and six yard carries on the drive, added the two point conversion putting WCMS on top 8-0 at the 2:44 mark of the first period.
Avery Trace’s first possessions consisted of five plays and a first down. However, the drive ended with a fumble recovered by the Warriors at the 40-yard line.
WCMS stalled on their next series and turned the ball over on downs at the Raider 39 yard line.
Avery Trace evened the score on their ensuing possession. Facing a third and eight, they broke a 56-yard run down to the four yard line and took are of the final four yards on the next play. Their two-point conversion run was good and with 4:06 to go in the half, the score was tied at eight.
The Warriors coughed the ball up on their next series and the Raiders recovered at the Warrior 41-yard line. Despite a sack by Adam Farley on second down, Avery Trace was able to convert a fourth and short to keep their drive alive. They opted to attempt a deep pass on the next play, but Tyler Stoglin intercepted near the end zone and returned the ball out to the 29-yard line. That set up the final drive of the half.
Seventh grade fullback, Blake Lynn, gave the Warriors great field position when he took the hand off on the misdirection and raced 52 yards setting up a first down inside the 20. After a couple of two yard runs, a sack left the Warriors facing fourth down at the 20 with time running down. With the coaches prodding the offense to hurry to get the snap off, Bohannon took the snap just as the horn sounded. He had the presence of mind to find Cole Young open in the flat. Young rumbled into the end zone with zeroes showing on the clock. Lynn added the two-point conversion giving WCMS the 16-8 halftime advantage.
Cookeville received to start the second half and tried to tie things up immediately, but Tollison, the offensive hero of the game, made a touchdown saving tackle. Avery Trace fumbled a couple plays later and Lynn recovered for the Warriors at their own 28-yard line.
Defenses dominated for the next few series, but as the third quarter ended, the Raiders were driving. They had actually ripped off a touchdown run on the final play of the quarter, but an illegal block negated the score. The first play of the fourth quarter was a reverse, which fooled the defense and put the ball at the 15-yard line. Four plays later on fourth down, the Raiders took the ball straight up the middle for the score with 5:04 left in the contest. The two-point conversion was stopped short by the middle of the Warrior defense preserving the slim WCMS lead, 16-14.
The Warriors had to punt on their ensuing possession and Cookeville took over just outside the 50 with 3:15 left in the game. On the third play, the Raiders tried to go deep again and it ended with the same result as the previous deep ball, a pick by Stoglin.
The Warriors ran the ball three times, but were not able to pick up the first down and were forced to pun after only taking just a little over a minute off the clock.
Avery Trace got the ball back at the Warrior 42 with 1:32 to play. A reverse on the second play resulted in a 42-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was not good, but with only 1:15 remaining to be played, the Raiders had taken a 20-16 advantage.
The Warriors, however, did not give up. On the first play, Bohannon kept on a botched reverse, but he picked up 13 yards. WCMS went back to the same play and this time got the ball into Tollison’s hands, who sprinted around the end with the help of his blockers and raced 52 yards to pay dirt. Tollison also added the two-point conversion putting WCMS on top 24-20. That score came with 47.6 seconds left.
Avery Trace began their final possession at their own 42 and immediately were flagged for a penalty backing them up five yards. After an incomplete pass, a run of seven yards was followed by a run of about 10 yards, but the Warrior defense made the stop on the Raider ball carrier as time expired sealing the victory.
Dycus talked about the final offensive series.
“My quarterback (Cole Bohannon) actually called those final two plays. I went out there during the timeout with a play in mind, but he suggested trying the reverse. I went with his feeling. Even though he got a sizeable gain, we didn’t execute it the way we meant to so we went back to it. Kayne got a block and that was it. Tonight is an example of why you play hard and do what you’re supposed to. Good things happen.”
The Jr. Warriors put their 1-0 mark on the line when they travel to South Jackson in Franklin County for their Central Tennessee Conference opener.