Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lumberjacks Battle to Semi-Finals

The Jacks came out for Round Three of the 4A State Playoffs fired up and focused on victory.
The 2016 Warren Lumberjack football team has faced about as much adversity as any team in program history.  Injuries have been an issue from the beginning of the season and continued
Hayden Lassiter powers through the Senators' defensive line.
throughout the year.  It has just been one of those years.  Yet, Warren is now one game away from its sixth state championship game in the past 17 years.  It is not a given, and there is no guarantee, but the Jacks have fought all year through the injury bug and keep winning.

Friday night at Jim Hurley, Jr. Stadium, the Lumberjacks met and defeated one of the top teams in Arkansas football and certainly one of the best in class 4A.  Joe T.  Robinson came to Warren with multiple future college players, great skill, speed and depth.  Warren won 35-28 in a classic victory.

Warren received the opening kickoff but had to punt.  Hayden Lassiter, who starred on offense and defense, intercepted a Robinson pass at the Warren 30, and the Lumberjacks were back in business. At the 4:49 mark of the first period, Lassiter scored on a ten-yard run, and Sergio Yepes made the PAT for a 7-0 Warren lead.  The joy was short lived as Greyson Ashcraft, Warren's all-conference defensive end went down with a knee injury.  His future is unknown, but he did not play another down during the game.
Treylon Burks has the pylon in sight...going for the goal!

The Warren defense continued to play lights out as the line and linebackers battled valiantly against the big fast Robinson offense and the undersized defensive backs made play after play in pass defense.  With 2:02 remaining in the quarter, Treylon Burks beat Robinson deep, and Lassiter hit him with a 52-yard touchdown pass.  Yepes was good, and Warren went up 14-0.

Late in the quarter, Robinson drove the ball deep into Lumberjack territory.  Warren forced a fumble around the Lumberjack 6-yard line.  It was recovered by Psavion Person.
Braden Hargis fires down the sideline.

In the second quarter, Lassiter threw a beautiful pass of 59 yards to a wide open Braden Hargis, and with Yepes's kick, the Lumberjacks jumped ahead 21-0.  Warren then intercepted a Robinson pass and looked ready to blow open the game.  However, the Jacks were flagged for holding and the Senators got the ball back.  With 5:12 left in the second quarter, Robinson scored on a twenty yard run and cut the lead to 21-7.  The first half ended with a missed Robinson field goal.

Warren kicked off, and the Senators completely changed their offense.  They went to a version of a power game using the wildcat to run the ball.  On the first drive of the second half, Robinson punched in a touchdown and made the score 21-14.  Warren responded quickly, and with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter, Dennis Daniels ran in a touchdown from the six yard line.  Yepes kicked Warren to a 28-14 lead.  The Senators came right back and answered with a drive and a 13-yard TD run to again cut the score to 28-21.
Hayden Lassiter lets it fly destined for Braden Hargis.

Robinson again threatened but a fumble recovery by Marcus Miller halted the attack, and Warren took over.  With 6:53 remaining in the game, Lassiter scored on a five-yard run. Yepes put the Lumberjacks up 35-21.  At the 3:08 mark, Robinson scored on a short run and made the game 35-28. The Lumberjacks had to punt after getting the ball back, but held the Senators on downs to clinch the game.
The crowd definitely played a role in the game.  Offensive lineman Joe Morris celebrates with is family following the game.

It was a Lumberjack classic, with a huge crowd on hand.  Warren's defense was again outstanding. To a man, they made big play after big play.  J'Malachi Kinnard, Byron Person, Carrington Gilbert, Keemontrae McKnight, D'Shawn Jackson, Treylon Burks, Hayden Lassiter, Luke Gorman, De'vonta Brown, Marcus Miller, Will Woodard, Wallace Smith, Psavian Person and others, all rose to the occasion and made plays.  The offensive line likewise battled a big strong and fast Senators' defensive front and made things happen.  Joe Morris, Gaige Watson, Avery Weaver, and Dylan Higgins, and the rest of the O-Line kept fighting, and Warren put up 35 points.  It was a team win.
Daniels sees the Senators moving in and then... (see photo below)

...he puts on a show with that classic Daniels cut and heads upfield avoiding Senator defenders.

Dennis Daniels had 13 carries for 14 yards and a touchdown.  Hayden Lassiter carried the ball 15 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.  This gives Lassiter 1015 yards on the year.  Daniels also exceeded 1000 yards for the year.
Treylon Burks. powers forward dragging a Senator with him.

Lassiter was 14 out of 20 for 214 yards.  He threw for two touchdowns. He has 2761 yards passing for the season to date.

The Lumberjacks must now travel to Prairie Grove in northwest Arkansas for the semi-final game.  It is a long trip, but one we urge all Lumberjack fans, who can, to make and support this team.  It will be covered live by, so make sure you have your subscription paid and be ready to watch the Lumberjacks Friday, December 2nd.

Left:  Hayden Lassiter keeps the ball and gains valuable yardage for the Lumberjacks.

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