WARRENTON, Ga. - If last Thursday night's game between Warren County and Landmark Christian is any indication of what the football season holds the rest of the way for the Screaming Devils, it could be a long season.
"We're just not very good," said a despondent Warren County Head Coach Lee Hutto, whose team suffered its first loss in two years at the new Warrenton football stadium. It also marked the first time in his three years at the school that one of his teams has been shut out.
Not only was the outcome of the game a crushing blow to the Screaming Devils, but so was the fact that one of their star players was injured. Jonathan Lewis, a senior, sustained a high ankle sprain and missed the entire fourth quarter. It is not immediately known whether he'll see action this week against Eagles Landing Christian in Atlanta. Game time against Eagles Landing is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
In the season opener against Glascock County, Lewis, a college prospect, who plays on both sides of the football, participated in more than 100 plays, both on the offensive and defensive sides.
The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first half, but that all changed in the second half as the War Eagles scored three touchdowns. Actually, the score could have been worse had it not been that Landmark Christian Head Coach Kenny Dallas told his sophomore reserve quarterback Carson Barnett to take a knee on their last offensive series. The decision to take such action came after Warren County running back Coby Reynolds fumbled a pitch-out from sophomore quarterback Dondracus Dozier with 2:36 remaining in the game.
As a result of the turnover, the War Eagles found themselves deep in Warren County territory at the 26.
In terms of statistics, the War Eagles chalked up 16 first downs to only eight during the game for Warren County. Landmark Christian also steadily assaulted the Screaming Devils, piling up 249 yards of rushing offense to Warren County's 111 yards on the ground.
Defensively, the Screaming Devils behind the fine play of several players, including Lewis, Steve Burley, Cedric Bacon, Tay Erwin, Lamaih Bell, Kentrell Latimore, Devonte Davis, Devarius Davis, Coby Reynolds, Cornelius Pinkston, Edricus Williams, Frank Ivey, Ricardo Jones and Damian Johnson, did a good job of keeping the War Eagles out of the end zone during the first half.
Such an effort was due in part to the Screaming Devils recovering a pair of turnovers. One came on a fumble recovery by Bacon with 5:13 to play in the first quarter. A second one came when Frank Ivey recovered a fumble with 10:33 to play in the second quarter, as the War Eagles threatened from the Warren County 28.
Landmark Christian also attempted to score with a field goal late in the first half. Ryan Thames' attempt, however, failed with 4:29 left in the second quarter.
The Screaming Devils, behind Dozier, mounted a serious scoring drive right after the missed field goal - sailing all the way downfield to the War Eagles' 28 at one point. Landmark's Blake Wyatt picked off a Dozier pass, which ended the threat with 12 seconds to play before halftime. Dozier's errant pass had been intended for receiver Tay Erwin, a junior.