WARRENTON - Though his Warren County Screaming Devils defeated the Jefferson Dragons 40-28 last Friday night at Legion Field, Coach Lee Hutto wasn't very happy.
The reason: his defensive unit gave up 21 points in the second half.
"We played defensively as bad as we've ever played in the two years I've been here," Coach Hutto said. "Instead of knocking them out when we had a chance to, we allowed them to score 21 points on us in the second half. It gave them a chance to come back on us and we just can't allow a team to do that to us."
Coach Hutto, now in his second season, also expressed displeasure with the Screaming Devils having turned the ball over twice on fumbles.
"We can't continue to make mistakes like that and think it's OK as long as we come out winners," Coach Hutto added. "We've got to learn to hold onto the football better. We've also got to learn that when we have a team down, we've got to continue to play our game and not allow them a chance to get back into the ballgame."
But that's not to say there were only storm clouds looming over the win.
Warren County Quarterback Tommy Seals had the kind of night most seniors just dream about. He finished the game with 17 carries for 180 yards and scored five of the team's six touchdowns. In addition, Seals also completed 3-of-4 passes for 66 yards. Four of his touchdowns came on 1 yard sneaks, while another one came on a 46-yard run.
On the season - according to records compiled by team statistician Joey Kaney - Seals already has amassed 407 yards on 39 carries. That's an average of 10.4 yards per carry.
Additionally, Seals also has scored six touchdowns this season - the longest touchdown coming on an 80-yard run on the last play of the game against the Swainsboro Tigers. Seals has also completed 9-of-22 passes for 210 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Against Jefferson, the Screaming Devils struck for a pair of touchdowns in the first, third and fourth quarters. Neither team managed to score in the second quarter.
Overall, the Screaming Devils, who had been ranked No. 10 in the Georgia High School Class A poll prior to the game against Jefferson, piled up a total of 366 yards on the ground. Jefferson's Dragons, meanwhile, were held to 223 yards on the ground and 48 yards through the air. They were led by the awesome running ability of senior fullback Tylar Hill, who rushed for 200 yards on 33 carries.
The Screaming Devils, now 2-1 on the season, trailed the Dragons 7-0 following a fumble on their first possession. The turnover occurred at the Warren County 15.
Following the ensuing kickoff, however, the Screaming Devils' C.J. Williams recovered an onsides kick at the Warren County 48. From there, Seals and company moved the football downfield - behind the running of senior running back Davarrus Reynolds and Kentrell Latimore.
With 5:39 left in the opening quarter, Seals scored his first of five touchdowns. Williams, however, missed the extra point kick, as the Dragons maintained a one-point lead, 7-6. Seals would score again minutes later - following a poor punt by the Dragons - making the score 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
This week, Warren County opens region play against the Twiggs County Cobras, who bring a 2-2 record to Legion Field Friday night.
Warren County hopes to ride their offense to victory over a Twiggs team that has allowed at least 17 points each in their last three games. Other than Seals, Warren County also brings several other offensive threats - Kentrell Lattimore has 151 yards on 28 carries, Devarrus Reynolds has 158 yards on 26 carries, and freshman running back Coby Reynolds has carried the ball 16 times this season for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
Game time Friday night - in what could be the final game for Warren County at Legion Field - is 7:30 p.m.
Warren County 40, Jefferson 28
Star of the game: Warren County's Tommy Seals racked up 180 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries. He also passed for 66 yards.
Play of the game: Pick a play by Kentrell Lattimore, who had 12 tackles, one assist and recorded a sack in the game. He was everywhere it seemed.
Up next: Warren County, now 2-1, will play host to Twiggs County this Friday night at Legion Field at 7:30 p.m.
2) warrenjefferson2 -- cutline: Quarterback Tommy Seals fires a pass. Seals threw for 66 yards on the night.