Sunday, December 10, 2017

Warren Falls One Point Short/Remember 2006?

 Photos by Emmalee Goad
The Lumberjacks were awarded the runner-up trophy.

 The Warren Lumberjacks fought valiantly to the end and were on the verge of winning their fifth state championship.  With enough time left to run two maybe three plays and with a reasonably good chance to kick a game winning field goal, something happened that quickly brought back memories of 2006, when the Lumberjacks had a title taken away by a blown call by the officiating crew.  Remember Jarius Wright scoring a two point conversion to win in overtime only to have the officials freeze and allow the umpire, lined up behind the defense, make the call of no good.  A  picture was taken clearly showing Wright scoring.  But no replay in Arkansas High School sports.

Fast forward to December 9, 2017.  Warren has the ball in scoring position, trailing 28-27.  They had a real chance to win the game when a person runs onto the field, is removed by security and Warren is penalized 15 yards.  It changes everything and the Lumberjacks come up short.   Would Warren have won?  No way to know for sure but the odds were good.  A simple short field goal would have been sufficient.  So far no one has shown us the rule that required a penalty be accessed against Warren.
#23 Vincent Stepps advanced the ball for the Jacks.

It turns out the person running onto the field was a Warren student.  No a player, not a manager, no one of any official capacity.  The individual apparently had no credentials and had no right to be on the field.  Security on the field was the job of the stadium.    They certainly took great pains to make sure all media was legitimate, but allowed some one to get loose, race onto the field and ruined the Lumberjacks championship hopes.  Things can happen, but why the penalty?

Well back to the game.  It was an outstanding contest with two excellent teams facing off against each other.  Warren won the toss and deferred till the second half.  Warren kicked off and Arkadelphia took over at their own 19.  The Lumberjacks held on fourth down at the Warren 34 and immediately struck on a long run to the Badgers 25.  With 7:31 remaining in the quarter, Treylon Burks race 25 yards for a touchdown.  Jesus Tinoco made the PAT and Warren led 7-0.
Warren Senior Wallace Smith was awarded the Brandon
Burlsworth Award for the Lumberjacks.

After the ensuing kick off, Arkadelphia took over at their own 26.  They drove into Warren territory and the jacks held at their own 22.  Warren was moving the ball when a fumble occurred and Arkadelphia ran it back to the Warren five.  They scored on a five yard run and made the point after to tie the game 7-7.  The Lumberjacks moved the ball but had to punt to the Badger 4-yard line.  In the second quarter Arkadelphia hit a big pass and later scored on a one- yard run and upped the lead to 14-7.

The Lumberjacks took over at their own twenty and were forced to punt.  The Badgers returned the punt to Warren's 22.  With 3:28 left in the half, Arkadelphia scored on a one yard run and took a 21-7 lead  The jacks got the ball back at their own 24 and moved down field.  With 21 seconds remaining in the first half, Treylon Burks ran in for a towchdown from the two.  The PAT was blocked leaving Arkadelphia ahead 21-13.  The Badgers returned the kick off to Warren's 42 and missed a field goal to keep the score 21-13 in favor of the Badgers at half.

Treylon Burks returned the opening second half kick off to the Warren 47.  On the first play J'malachi Kinnard hit Burks for a 53 yard touchdown pass and Tinoco hit the PAT to cut the lead to 21-20.  After the kickoff Arkadelphia move the ball deep into Warren territory.  Treylon Burks intercepted a pass at the Warren eight.  After a penalty on the return, Kinnard threw a 91-yard pass to Burks with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter and Tinoco made the point after and Warren took a 27-21 lead.  Arkadelphia got the ball and with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter fumbled and J. J. Hampton recovered for Warren.  The Jacks turned the ball over on downs at the Arkadelphia 30.  Warren forced a punt and had to punt back.

In the fourth quarter the Badgers punted to the Warren one and the Jacks promptly moved the ball.  Eventually Warren punted and with 3:19 left in the game, Arkadelphia hit a 81 yard pass for a touchdown and made the PAT to go ahead 28-27.  Warren took the kick off at their own 18 and put together a championship caliber drive that included a pass from Kinnard to Braden Hargis for a first down on a fourth and 12.  Warren drove into Arkadelphia territory and was poised to score either a touchdown or field goal.  That is when the person rushed onto the field and the officials marched off 15 yards against Warren.  The Jacks tried to score but were too far out for a decent shot at a field goal against a strong wind.  The pass was intercepted in the end zone and time expired.  It was a heartbreaking finish for the Lumberjacks, their coaches and fans.

Much can and will be said about the game.  Arkadelphia was very good.  It was a very competitive game.  Warren had four (4) big plays go against it.  The first quarter fumble that resulted in the Badgers tying the game.  The two big passes Arkadelphia hit that appeared to be some type breakdown in coverage and the blocked extra point.  These four plays resulted in 21 points for Arkadelphia and the margin of victory.  Warren made great plays.  The entire team battled hard to the end.  Treylon Burks proved he is the best high school player in Arkansas.  J'malachi Kinnard was outstanding at quarterback and on defense.  Braden Hargis, not one hundred percent, made big plays, Will Woodard, Wallace Smith, Marcus Miller,  and all the offensive and defensive linemen fought hard and played well, while missing two of the best linemen in Arkansas, Davis Pennington and Joe Morris.  Vincent Stepps ran great.  Keemontrae McKnight always gives his all.  Psavian Person fought to the end.  Not one player quit or gave up.  They thought they would win till the last second expired.  The fact is, the Lumberjacks had earned the right to attempt to win the game.  It got taken away or at the least, made very difficult.
J'malachi on a quarterback keeper.

This is a championship team.  The trophy says runner up, second in class 4A.  The people of Warren know that this team and their coaches are champions and the community should be very proud of their efforts.  We have experienced this before (2006), but it should not take from the accomplishments of the 2017 Lumberjacks.
Steppes runs the ball.

Join in congratulating the 2017 Lumberjack football team on being champions!  They demonstrated character and integrity.  They lived up to the legacy of being Lumberjacks!

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