Saturday, September 10, 2016

Jacks Move Record to 2-0

Lumberjacks Win Physical Battle

Warren's opening game against LR Christian featured a Lumberjack offense that scored at will and a defense that gave of a good amount of points.  Friday night at Stuttgart, it was almost a total reversal. The Lumberjack defense played outstanding, and the offense struggled to score. Warren moved the football but found it difficult to finish off drives in the first half.  The Jacks scored one touchdown in the half, and that was by the defense.  Ironically, the touchdown scored was reminiscent of Warren's first state championship game in 2000, when offensive star quarterback Reid McKinney came in on defense and picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to win the game.  Friday night offensive star running back Dennis Daniels came in at linebacker and did the same thing to give Warren a 7-0 lead at the half.  It proved to be the difference in the game.

Stuttgart chose to receive the opening kickoff.  Warren's revised defense, changed up with some new personnel due to injuries, got the ball back and the Lumberjacks promptly moved to the Ricebird 9 before turning the ball over on downs.  Neither team could score until Daniels returned the fumble 52 yards for a TD in the second quarter.  Yepes made the PAT, and Warren lead at the half 7-0.

Stuttgart finally scored with 3:34 left in the third quarter on a 33-yard pass.  Warren had decent coverage but the receiver made a good catch.  The Lumberjacks blocked the extra point and maintained a 7-6 lead.  The Warren offense seemed to gain new life, and at the 2:22 mark of the third quarter, Hayden Lassiter stood in the pocket, took a big hit and delivered a 33-yard strike to Braden Curry for a touchdown.  Yepes converted, and Warren upped its lead to 14-6.

In the fourth quarter, Warren scored on a 16-yard run by Dennis Daniels, who ran over several defenders and would not be denied.  Yepes again hit the PAT, and Warren was up 21-6.  Stuttgart drove into Warren territory with six minutes left, and Warren stopped them on fourth down only to be penalized for defensive holding giving the Ricebirds a first and goal.  Stuttgart pushed the ball across with 6:13 remaining in the game and then attempted a two-point try.  It failed, and Warren led 21-12. The Lumberjacks covered the onside kick and ran out the clock by driving deep into Stuttgart territory.  The Jacks had another TD run by Daniels called back but was still able to use up the remaining time.  Warren took a knee inside the Stuttgart 10 twice to close out the game and secure the win.

When it was all over the Warren offense showed how good it can be.  Lassiter hit some key passes and ran very effectively.  The Lumberjack defense rose to the occasion and made numerous big plays against and very good Stuttgart team.  In addition to Dennis Daniels playing some defense, outstanding wide receiver Treylan Burks played defensive end for a good amount of the game and was very effective.  Greyson Ashcraft had a good game at linebacker and the Warren secondary defended well.  Other than a few mistakes, the defense made a lot of improvement. 

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