On Sept. 21, a rainy Tuesday afternoon gave way to a perfect evening for football as the eighth grade Warriors stepped onto Dee Harris Field for their last regular season game. It would have been easy to let the pageantry of eight grade night and homecoming become a distraction, but the Warriors knew they were still in contention for the playoffs, and there was work to be done.
Algood started with the ball as White County won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Warrior D stood strong, and the “football team from Algood” turned the ball over on downs. On the Warrior’s first drive, Tucker Pinion hit Exavior Gamblin with a deep pass for a huge first down. JoJo Dowell then scampered for 29 yards and appeared to score a touchdown but was marked out at the one-yard line. Pinion then hit Gamblin for a one-yard touchdown. The conversion was no good, making the score 6-0.
After another defensive stand by the Warriors, Gamblin took his turn at quarterback. He started strong as he threw a beautiful 47-yard pass to JG Wallace. A few plays later, Gamblin would take the ball inside the five-yard line with a quarterback keeper. Gamblin then returned the favor for his earlier touchdown by throwing one to Pinion. The conversion failed again making the score 12-0.
The defenses for both teams took over for the next few series in the game. The Warrior defense dominated the next drive, forcing another punt from Algood. The Redskins then picked off a Pinion pass and put the Warriors back on defense. The White County front seven really stepped up the intensity and put the Algood offense in reverse with big plays by Allen Brown and Carter Rich.
The next drive, Pinion was back at quarterback and hit JG Wallace for a 25-yard touchdown strike. The score was then 18-0 and would stay that way until the early part of the fourth quarter when Cole Sims would step in front of an Algood pass and race 55 yards for a pick-six, making the score 24-0.
With the big lead in the fourth quarter, Coach Aaron Brown kept his promise to the eighth grade linemen and gave them the chance to run the ball. The offensive formation featured Pinion and 10 eighth grade linemen who would rotate positions giving them the opportunity to “tote the rock.” Daymon Conley and Daniel Maples did their best Derek Henry impersonations as they rumbled for about five yards apiece. The drive would stall, however, and Algood would take over.
After giving up a long play that had Algood inside the 10-yard line, the backup Warrior defense held strong and completed the shut out, giving White County the 24-0 victory.
The win moved the Warriors to 6-2 on the season. After the game, coaches began checking their phones for updates from the Macon County and Upperman game. A Macon County win would have put the Warriors into the playoffs. That game went into several overtimes and Upperman squeaked out a two-point win, ending the Warriors’ hopes for a district title.
The season is not over yet, though, for the WCMS Warriors. They will play the Livingston Academy Wildcats, on Dee Harris Field, on Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m., in a bowl game. Come out and support these young men who have worked so hard and have had a very successful season.