By Robert Jacobus
WARREN – The Warren Warriors football squad lost a heartbreaking 22-20 decision to the West Hardin Oilers last Friday night.
The evening started on a bright note for the Warriors as they took the opening kickoff back to their own 40. From there Warren marched 60 yards in nine plays, with Devon Hadnot covering the final eight yards for the touchdown. The conversion try was no good and Warren led 6-0.
Bowen Christie then came up with two key plays for the Warriors, one on offense, one on defense. Christie scooped up a West Hardin fumble at the Warren 35-yard line and returned it 31 yards to the Oilers 34. Three plays later on offense, Christie caught a 42-yard touchdown bomb from quarterback Bryce Herrington to put the Warriors up 12-0 with 1:17 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion try was no good.
There was no scoring in the second quarter. Warren had a short drive stall at the West Hardin 48-yard line. With 1:06 left in the first half West Hardin drove to the Warren 33. On third down Warren threw the Oilers for a 10-yard loss and on fourth down a West Hardin pass fell incomplete. Warren then ran two plays to run out the first half and the Warriors led at the break 12-0.
West Hardin came out strong in the third quarter. On the first play from scrimmage the Oilers went straight up the middle with a 48-yard touchdown run to make it 12-6 Warren. The two-point conversion was no good.
Warren responded immediately. After returning the kickoff to their own 40, Devon Hadnot broke off a 13-yard run to the Oilers 47. After a five-yard loss on first down, Warren’s Bryce Herrington ripped off a 31-yard run down to the West Hardin 27. After a Warren personal foul penalty pushed the ball back to the West Hardin 43, Hadnot went 22 yards up the middle to the Oilers’ 21-yard line. After three plays netted eight yards for the Warriors, Hadnot ran around right end on fourth down and two for 10 yards to the West Hardin two to make it first and goal. From there quarterback Herrington took the quarterback sneak into the end zone for a 20-6 Warren lead. The two-point conversion was no good.
West Hardin came right back with another score before the third quarter was over. On fourth and two from the West Hardin36-yard line, the Oilers ran a fake punt for the first down. Another personal foul penalty on Warren gave West Hardin the ball at the Warrior 46. With 17 seconds left in the third quarter, West Hardin ran the ball in for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 20-12.
The Oilers converted the two-point conversion to make it 20-14. Devon Hadnot returned the ensuing kickoff to the West Hardin 33 as the third quarter ended.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors drove to the West Hardin 25 but failed to convert a fourth down and three play. West Hardin took over on downs at their own 29 and from there West Hardin ran the ball up the middle for a 55-yard gain to the Warren 16. The Oilers drive stalled, however, as the Warriors stopped West Hardin on fourth down with 6:40 to play.
Warren running back Luke Callaway took off on a 15-yard dash to the Warren 45. The Warriors’ possession stalled after that, and they punted to the West Hardin 33 with 3:19 left in the game.
With 1:31 left in the contest, West Hardin connected on a 46-yard pass to take the ball down to the Warren 6-yard line. From there, West Hardin scored from the 3-yard line on second down to tie the game at 20 with just :55 seconds left. The Oilers ran around right end for the 2-point conversion and their first lead of the night at 22-20.
From there, Warren recovered a squib-kick at their own 42-yard line. The Warriors were able to get off two more plays before time expired.
Warren coach Jay Buckner said after the game “That was a tough one to lose. Our kids fought and they fought and they fought but came up a little bit short. I think we’ll be okay though. Our seniors are doing a real good job of leading and this group seems to be a little more resilient than in past years. We’ll bounce back.”
“A couple of items I was really happy with was that our passing game was 6-for-6 for over 100 yards and a touchdown. Also, we got off to a much better start against West Hardin than we did in our first two games. That was something we had really emphasized to the players the past few days.”
Buckner added, “We have the week off, so we’ll work on getting healthy. We’re down to 20 players and we had three players go down against West Hardin, but they should be alright with an extra week to heal. At practice the next couple of weeks we’re going to continue to get in better shape and we’re going to continue to improve on the little things.”
Lady Warriors triumphant
On another note, the Lady Warriors volleyball team beat Kountze Sept. 11 on the Lions’ home floor 19-25, 25-9, 25-27, 25-18, 15-11. Warren followed up that win with a triumph at Kirbyville on September 14 in four sets. The Lady Warriors are now 2-1 in District 22-3A play. Warren played Anahuac on Tuesday and play East Chambers at home this Friday.
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