2017-11-02 / Sports

Defense, special team step up to score three times at Warren

Rematch with Tattnall Square Friday is ‘huge’ game for W-W


COREY DANNER CUTS LEFT AND HEADS UP-FIELD He scored for the Tigers on their second possession at Warrenton. COREY DANNER CUTS LEFT AND HEADS UP-FIELD He scored for the Tigers on their second possession at Warrenton. As might have been expected, last Friday night’s football game at Warren County was a long way from a typical football game and even though the 37-6 win for the Tigers was quite satisfying, the path to that victory was a little weird.

It all started typically enough with W-W taking the opening kickoff and driving steadily and deliberately down the field until Malik Hall scored on a two-yard plunge. Donovan Anthony added the kick to make it 7-0.

Then, as much as Warren County is struggling this year, the Screaming Devils are no less capable of exploding on a “big play.” So they answered that Tiger touchdown with a big-play-80-yard return of the kickoff. Their two-point conversion attempt failed to give them the lead, however, and the score stood at 7-6.

Again, the Tigers punched out a nice drive featuring the running of Hall and Corey Danner and scored on a short run by Danner. Anthony’s run from the unusual PAT formation was good for two more and W-W secured a 15-6 lead.


D’MYTRI WIGGS HITS THE GAP ON THE RIGHT This weekend the Tigers will travel to Macon to face Tattnall. D’MYTRI WIGGS HITS THE GAP ON THE RIGHT This weekend the Tigers will travel to Macon to face Tattnall. Two possessions, two scores for the Tiger offense. After the defense held and the offense took over for its third possession, a classic long pass to Deondre Lester set up another promising score. But a fumble gave the ball back to Warren just as W-W was closing in on touchdown number three.

Play after play the Tigers sacked and backed the Screaming Devils into a punting situation with the kicker standing in his own end zone. The punt was blocked and then recovered by Branden Lamar for the first defensive (special team) touchdown of the night. Hall added the two-point conversion.

Several good runs by Warren County moved them across midfield after the kickoff but a high snap was mishandled and scooped up by Trey Grant who raced untouched to the end zone for the second defensive touchdown of the night. Anthony’s kick boosted the score to a comfortable halftime level at 30-6.

It was into the fourth quarter before W-W scored again and it was the defense again. And again, it was Grant’s doing. He caused a fumble at the Devils’ 45 yard-line where Chris Crew picked it up and ran for the touchdown. Anthony’s kick rounded out the night’s scoring at 37-6.

The coach singled out Grant as a newcomer on the field and just a sophomore.

“We knew as the season moved along that he was becoming better and better. He is really believing in what we’re doing ,” he said. “We played him a lot Friday night and he showed up. He caused a fumble and returned a fumble for a touchdown. He just ran around and made some plays for us and that was good to see.”


REGINALD LUKE mans the fence line at Tiger Stadium along with other faithful fans cheering for Washington-Wilkes especially at home games. Support like this from fans on the line and in the stands makes a difference in the Tigers’ performance game after game. REGINALD LUKE mans the fence line at Tiger Stadium along with other faithful fans cheering for Washington-Wilkes especially at home games. Support like this from fans on the line and in the stands makes a difference in the Tigers’ performance game after game. A couple of counties away, the Lincoln County Red Devils upset the Aquinas Fighting Irish 12-6 throwing the sub-region into a three-way tie for first place. But due to power rankings, the standings remained unchanged with Aquinas finishing as No. 1, the Tigers in second place, and Lincoln County third. Therefore, in this Friday’s crossover “playoff” game, W-W will travel to Macon to face Tattnall Square Academy for the second time this season.

The outcome of that game will determine where the Tigers fall in the seeding for the state playoffs as they begin competition in the Class A Public division while Tattnall will move on to the Class A Private division. Seeding will be based on the Class A power ranking system.

“I’ve never been involved with such a debacle as Class A and what it is,” Tiger Head Coach Chad Alligood said, promising to meet with the head of the Georgia High School Association as soon as the season is over. “I’m going to tell him what a debacle this stuff is. It’s crazy. It’s the most asinine stuff I’ve seen in my life and they wouldn’t allow it to happen in any other classification.”

Alligood continued, pointing out that in any other classification, “They wouldn’t allow you to travel six hours for a first-round playoff. They wouldn’t allow you to play a region opponent in the playoffs. They wouldn’t allow any of that.” He questioned how it can be that his team is playing a private school team like Tattnall in the tenth game of the season and it’s going to determine seeding in the public school playoffs, and vice versa.

What’s more, the coach added, is that when the playoffs start, “we won’t know until Mondays at four o’clock officially who we’re playing on Friday. That’s what is crazy. They would never have let that happen to [bigger schools like] Valdosta, Colquitt, or Northside. It would never happen.”

But happier thoughts prevailed as Alligood commented on the win over Warren County.

“I am proud of the kids and the way they came out and played. We mashed it right down the field,” he said. “We came out real quick. We had the ball only six times on offense. On the first two drives we went right down the field and scored. We did exactly what we wanted to do.” And even though a fumble ended the Tigers’ third possession, Alligood said the Tigers were doing “just what we wanted to do.”

“We have really been challenging the defense to come out and play hard and play fast,” the coach continued, adding that some of the younger Tigers got in the game early. “But we hadn’t scored on defense and we hadn’t scored on special teams and we did all of that last Friday. That takes away possession from the offense, but I couldn’t care less as long as somebody is scoring. I was really proud of that.”

The Tiger offensive had the ball only two times in the second half and was backed up in really bad field position both times. While Alligood was “really disappointed” that the offense didn’t execute after coming out at halftime, he was pleased that the defense took over even with their backs against the wall a couple of times. “They still kept them out of the end zone,” he bragged. “They just made plays.”

Part of the offense’s trouble was that Warren lined up in a defense that the Tigers had not seen before. That was especially worrisome because Warren had nothing to lose.

“So we had to adjust a little bit on offense because they were in a defensive front that we had not seen. But the kids did a good job with adjusting on the fly,” Alligood said. “All in all, I was pretty pleased with the game. We just didn’t finish the second half offensively as well as I would have liked. But there were a lot more positives than there were negatives.

“We were able to play a bunch of young guys in the fourth quarter. That’s something we hadn’t been able to do. I think everybody on the team got to play and it was good to get everybody in.”

As Washington-Wilkes prepares to travel to Macon this Friday, Alligood says the Tattnall Trojans are showing nothing new and are just doing what they’ve been doing the whole season except for a few personnel changes due mainly to injuries. “They do their thing – they don’t change up a whole lot on either side of the ball,” he said.

“It’s a huge ball game because with the power ratings a lot is at stake,” Alligood continued. “We are in the state playoffs, but if we win, we will play the first round at home. We have a chance to be in the upper tier and at home for the first round and that’s huge.”

Tattnall was 7-0 for the season until a couple of weeks ago. But back-to-back sub-region losses to First Presbyterian Day (35-41) and Stratford Academy (23-27) have left the Trojans on a two-game losing streak going into Friday’s game against the Tigers.

Alligood just wants his team to execute, play hard every down, and put a whole game together.

“You want to be playing good going into the playoffs,” he said. “I told them Friday night, we’ve done all of this to get to the state playoffs. We need to take week 10 and be playing really, really good to give ourselves a chance once the playoffs start.

“Everybody’s going to be 0-0 and a chance to play at home would be huge. And that’s what’s riding on Friday night,” he added.

The Tigers don’t have any big or new plans for facing Tattnall but Alligood said they will tweak a few things just because they’re playing the Trojans for the second time.

Unfortunately defensive lineman Wes Tanner is still sidelined with an injury but the good news is that Divenski Lee, who’s been out since the spring with a knee injury, is back in action and has already seen some playing time.

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