On Sept. 10, 2021, the White County High School Warriors took the field against the Cookeville Cavaliers. The Warriors did not back away from the Cavaliers as White County soundly defeated Cookeville with a 41-13.
The Cavaliers took the ball as the Warriors deferred and could not move the ball against a strong Warrior defense. Cookeville punted the ball to the Warriors for their first drive of the night. The Warriors could not get any offense rolling and were forced to punt the ball back to Cookeville. Once again, the Warriors stopped the Cavaliers on three downs. The Warriors took control of the ball at the 50-yard line. It took eight plays for the Warriors to move down the field, and, with a third down and four, Jayvn Strode took the ball right up the middle of the defense and scampered 16 yards to find paydirt as he scored the first touchdown of the night. DJ Paul split the uprights for the extra point, and Sparta took a 7-0 lead, with two minutes showing in the first quarter.
Cookeville again had to punt the ball back to a fired-up Warrior team. The Warriors again had the ball in very good field position as the punt was taken at the 43-yard line. Strode again, on a third down and one, found an opening and weaved his way into the endzone, with a 17-yard touchdown run. Paul added the extra point to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead, with 9:35 left to play in the second quarter. Cookeville took the kickoff and started a six-play drive that ended when Cookeville’s Thompson found Burris in the endzone for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Crockett hit the extra point that closed the gap at the 6:35 mark in the second quarter, 14-7.
With the time winding down in the first half, the Warriors ten play drive that ended at the two-yard line. The Cavalier defense had stopped the Warriors on downs, however, a huge facemask penalty against Cookeville gave the Warriors a first down at the three-yard line. Pinion kept the ball on a bootleg play and found Bray Frasier in the endzone. The kick was good from DJ Paul, and, with 2:25 to play in the half, the Warriors took a two touchdown lead over the Cavaliers. The half ended with the Warriors leading 21-7
The Warriors took the second half kickoff, and it did not take long for lightning to strike as Malaki Dowell broke free into the secondary and outran the defense for an 85-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good by Paul, and, with 10:34 to play in the third quarter, the Warriors took a commanding 28-7 lead. Cookeville scored with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Sullivan to close the gap. The extra point was no good, and, with 7:01 left in the third quarter, the Warriors led 28-13.
The Warriors answered right back, and, with 4:11 to go in the third quarter, Tripp Pinion kept the ball and scored on a 10-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, and the Warriors extended the lead to 34-13. The Warriors would add another touchdown, with 7:51 to play in the contest, as Owen Adams found paydirt with a one-yard run. The extra point by Paul was good, and the kick gave the Warriors the lead 41-13.
The Warrior defense dominated Cookeville all night. The Cookeville team could find nothing on the ground as the Warrior defense completely shut them down. Total rushing yards for the Cavaliers was minus two yards. The Cavaliers did have 209 yards through the air, and the total offensive output for Cookeville was 207 yards. The Warriors’ Malaki Dowell had a tremendous game. Dowell rushed 20 times for 303 yard rushing and one touchdown. Strode had another great game by rushing 10 times for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Total rushing yards for the Warriors was 426 yards for the night. The Warriors had 12 yards passing for a total offensive showing of 438 yards offense.
The Warriors moved to 3-1 on the season. The Warriors will square off in a big region game Sept. 17 against Mt Juliet High School. The Golden Bears will enter Warrior Stadium undefeated with a 4-0 record. They are averaging 40 points per game and are holding their opponents to 12 points per game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., in Sparta, on the campus of White County High School.