Mistakes cost Warriors, lose to Rebels 34-0

Published 11:57 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

By C.Y. Peters
Star Correspondent
Beans and Cornbread just outside the entry to Warrior field, deep-fried Oreos and Funnel cakes just inside the gate and top it off with a Ross & Dave’s monster lemonade.  I think I gained about twenty pounds Friday night.  Yes, I had a hot dog at the half.  Coach Jason Jarrett spends two days working on catching punts and kick-offs, you think you’re prepared and then nothing goes right.  Three times in the first half the Warriors fumbled punts and one set up the first touchdown by South Greene.  The Warriors held South Greene and would have taken the ball over on the 21-yard line but a fumble on the punt gave the Rebels the ball back. On the next play, T.J. Buckner took a 21-yard pass to the end zone and the game’s first score.
The Warriors get good field position on a Reagan Ensor run but can’t get the ball past the 35.  A few plays late South Greene launches a 76-yard pass for the game’s second score and a 13-0 lead. The Warriors would get a couple more chances before the half when Drew Blevins intercepted a Rebel pass.  After four plays the Warriors turned the ball over on downs.
Ensor seemed to put the ball in the receivers’ hands play after play, but with a damp field from the heat they just could not hold on.
The Warriors had several good series in the third quarter moving the ball down to the one-yard line, first and goal.  On the next play, a fumble and Keshawn Engram recovered for the Rebels. After a Miller 34-yard run that took out one of the Warrior managers, a 99-yard series saw Engram push the ball over for the Rebels’ third score.  The PAT was good for two and the Rebels lead 21-0.
In the fourth, an interception by Engram as he outran the Warriors for a 68-yard score, but three penalties on the play brought this one back.  Behind 21-0, the Warriors had only about three bad plays in the game and Ensor seemed to be a threat each time he drop back to pass.
The Warriors catch a break on a bad punt and they start this drive on the 30.  When Ensor went to hand-off, the back must have went the wrong way,  and South Greene’s Phillip Blair comes through and takes the hand-off and runs 70 yards for another Rebels score.  South Greene now leads 27-0 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
On the next drive, the Warriors fumble and South Greene gets the ball only 19 yards from pay dirt.  In the first play, Freshman Nash Rader takes the ball up the middle and a 34-point lead.  Nothing went right for Happy Valley in the second half after only trailing 13-0 at the break.
On third and ten, a bad snap forces the Warriors to punt for the ninth time on the night with 3: 45 to play. This makes the fourth straight year the Rebels have beat the Warriors and may be their longest winning streak against them.  Jayden Walls came crashing through the line for a six-yard sack, the Warriors were still playing hard down 34.
On the night the Warriors had 150 total yards to the Rebels 250. They ran 51 plays, and South Greene ran 40. Happy Valley netted 66 yards passing and South Greene passed for 125.  The Warriors rushed 34 times for 84 yards and South Greene 28 times for 125.  Happy Valley had five turnovers to the Rebels one.  Joseph Soward’s led the Warriors in rushing with 53 yards on 14 attempts while  Ensor finished with 14 yards. Ron Paul Parker led the Warriors in receiving with 23 yards.
The Warriors will host Unicoi County next Friday night.

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