Turnovers hurt the Warriors as they fall to the Pioneers

Posted By | August 28, 2017 6:32 am

Last Updated: August 28, 2017 at 6:34 am

Grayson Johnson breaks away from Warren County’s defense to score the Warriors’ first touchdown of the year. Johnson finished the night with 126 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Will Griggs and Andrew Cantrell teams up to bring down Warren County’s runner.

It was a tough night for the Warriors in their match-up in McMinnville against Warren County High School.

The Pioneers (2-0) rolled past the Warriors 55-14 on Friday night. The Pioneers scored five times in the second quarter thanks to three   Warrior fumbles and a blocked punt.

The Pioneers offense got things going. It would take the Pioneers nine plays to get on the board. Warren County’s quarterback Isaiah Grayson would find the end zone from three yards out to give the Pioneers the early 7-0 lead.

On the Warriors’ first possession, they could seem to ever make the right read. On the first play, the Warriors were called for offside that put them in a hole and made it first and 15. On first down Grayson Johnson would rush for three yards make it second and 12. The Warriors would then fumble the ball on a bad pitch that would cause the Warriors to lose 15 yards and put them behind the eight-ball. The Warriors would get 13 of that back when Johnson found some running room up the middle, but the Warriors would have to punt and gave Warren County the ball back.

On Warren County’s second possession, the Warriors would force a three and out by Warren County. The big play for the Warriors came on second and nine when Brett Howard found his way into the backfield and sacked Grayson for a four-yard loss. On the Pioneers’ punt, Allen Shoupe would find some running room on the sideline after a nice spin move and return the ball 26 yards to Warren County’s side of the field on the 43-yard line.

The Warriors from there would pick up a first down on third and six when Will Griggs found some running room and took the ball eight yards to give the Warriors a first down. Then, two plays later, Grayson Johnson would find some running room up the middle and take the ball 24 yards to the house and tie the game up at 7-7.

The Pioneers would then take over on their 20-yard line after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff. On their first play, the Pioneers would pick up seven yards, but from there could tell that all the momentum had shifted to the Warriors’ sideline as the Warriors would force the Pioneers’ punt after Dylan Bumbalough made a stop on third down and three and tackled Grayson for a three-yard loss.

The Warriors would get the ball after the punt at Warren County’s 32-yard line. But the Warriors would fumble the ball on their third play, and Warren County would get the ball back.

It would take the Pioneers five plays to find the end zone. Warren County’s Ethan Cowan would take the ball in the end zone from one yard out to put Warren County up 14-7.

The Warriors would start their next possession on the Warren County 31-yard line. Caleb Charleson would rush the ball twice and pick up 11 yards and give the Warriors a first down. But two plays later the Warriors would fumble again and Warren County would recover giving the Pioneers the ball with good field position again.

The Pioneers would take advantage of the good field position and find the end zone on their second play of the drive when Grayson found Eric Haywood for 38 yards and the Pioneers’ second touchdown in a span of 2:38 to put the Pioneers up 21-7.

The Warriors would go three and out on their next possession and punt the ball away. It would take Warren County eight plays to find the end zone. Jay Rozier would take the ball in from two yards out to put the Pioneers up 28-7, with 2:44 remaining in the half.

The Warriors would go three and out on their next series, and when they went to punt the ball, Warren County went after the punt and blocked it giving them the ball at the Warriors’ 21-yard line. It would take Warren County two plays to find the end zone. Grayson would find the end zone from 14 yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the first half and put Warren County up 35-7.

On the kickoff, the Warriors were not able to field the kick cleanly, and the Pioneers would come down and recover the kick-off and give the Pioneers one more chance to score before the end of the half. On the first play, the Warriors would get a sack by Brett Howard and Bumbalough. The next play Grayson would find a Warren County player at the one-yard line, but that pass fell incomplete to bring up third down. On third down, Grayson would be flushed out of the pocket and find Haywood again at the nine-yard line, and Haywood would take it into the end zone, with 1.4 seconds remaining before the half to put the Pioneers up 42-7 heading into the halftime.

In the second half, with the clock running the whole half, the Warriors would get the ball three times, and Warren County would get the ball twice. The Warriors scored on the second possession when Will Griggs took the ball in from 16 yards out to make the score 48-14.

Warren County would score on both of their second-half possessions, once on a 32-yard pass to make the score 48-7 and then with 4:08 remaining on a 5-yard run to put the Pioneers up 55-14, and that was the final.

After the game, Coach Jerry Lowery had this to say.

“Tonight we turned the ball over five times and gave them good field position,” he said. “We will never win the football game turning it over five time. That’s 10 turnovers in two games, and we have given up 90 points because of the turnovers. Every time we turn the ball over, our offense is putting the defense in a tough situation, and until we shore that up, we won’t be able to win a game. I take full responsibility for these turnovers. I am not going to blame anybody, because this is my fault. This week we are going to focus on ball security, and until we can shore that up, it doesn’t matter how well our offense is running. Until we can execute and play a game without turnovers, we are not going to win. That’s my job as a coach – to make sure we execute, and I have not done a good enough job this season.”

The Warriors finished the game with 226 yards rushing. Grayson Johnson led the Warriors with 126 yards rushing on 15 carries and one touchdown. Jayden Hicks finished the game 49 yards rushing on five carries. Will Griggs also had 14 yards rushing on four rushes and a touchdown.

Isaiah Grays led the Pioneers in rushing, with 60 yards rushing on nine carries and two rushing touchdowns. He also finished with 151 yards passing and two passing touchdowns.

The Warriors will start region play next week when Summit High School comes to Warrior Stadium. That game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.

Brett Howard sacks Warren County’s quarterback on Friday night. Howard finished the game with two sacks.

Allen Shoupe finds some space on a punt return down the sideline. Shoupe had a 26-yard punt return on Friday night that led to the Warriors’ first touchdown.

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