Aquinas Coach Bill Tenore wanted his players to perform a task last Friday night that only one team has been able to accomplish this season on the gridiron, simply to contain the running and throwing abilities of Warren County quarterback Tommy Seals.
The senior quarterback, who has managed to elude four other teams this season, wasn't about to let that happen. And he proved it right from the outset: establishing that the Screaming Devils were the more dominant team.
Seals and company went up and down Legion Field in the first half, accumulating more than 400 yards of total offense and racking up 43 points. The Screaming Devils ended up breezing to a 57-14 homecoming win over Aquinas.
Warren County's first string players never touched the football during the second half, the second team playing the entire third and fourth quarters under the mercy rule, meaning the clock was kept running instead of stopping.
The Screaming Devils quarterback rushed for 116 yards on 7 carries in the first half alone. Seals also completed 4-of-5 passes for 81 yards and fired two touchdown passes to senior receiver Travis Burley. The scoring passes covered distances of 36 and 19 yards.
"We took care of business in the first half and got it over with quick," said Warren County head coach Lee Hutto. "I was pleased with the play of our first team, but was a little disappointed with our second team because they allowed Aquinas to score two touchdowns against us."
Senior running back Devarrus Reynolds got Warren County on the scoreboard in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown plunge less than four minutes into the game. Seals ran for the two-point conversion, which made it an 8-0 game. With just one 1:36 left to play in the initial quarter, Seals spotted Burley in the end zone. The pass, however, was tipped in the air by an Aquinas defender, Burley eying it all the way and coming down with it for the score.
Antonio Benton booted the extra point, which gave Warren County a 15-0 lead going into the second quarter.
The Screaming Devils simply were unstoppable in the second quarter, as they struck for four more touchdowns.
Freshman running back Coby Reynolds displayed his quickness, zipping off a 71-yard touchdown run. Benton provided the extra point and Warren County led 22-0. In a span of just eight minutes, the Screaming Devils struck for three more touchdowns.
On a first down and goal situation at the Irish 3, Reginald Johnson, a senior, who recently was converted to fullback, was hit hard just as he was nearing the end zone and fumbled the football. Fortunately for Warren County, the ball was recovered by Devarrus Reynolds, who was credited with the touchdown. Despite Benton's kick failing, Warren County led 28-0.
With 3:31 remaining in the first half, Marshall Malchow booted his fifth punt of the game for Aquinas,the punt covering only 24 yards. On the first play from scrimmage, Warren County's Van Williams exemplified his speed: running to pay dirt from 58 yards out. Seals ran for the two-point conversion, making it a 36-0 game.
Seals later completed his second touchdown pass of the game to Burley from 19 yards out. Benton kicked the extra point, which gave the Screaming Devils a commanding 43-0 lead at halftime.
On the fourth play of the opening second half, Warren County's Tay Erwin rambled 53 yards for another touchdown. Benton's extra point made it 50-0. The Screaming Devils scored their last touchdown of the game on a 63-yard run by Dominique Menchaca. Benton, again, added the extra point.
Aquinas, now 0-6 overall and 0-3 in Region 7-A, scored both of their touchdowns in the second half, their first one on an 8-yard pass to Garrett Pippen from quarterback Brandon Paul. Their other score came on a 2-yard run by Drew Garren with just 3:39 left in the game.
The Screaming Devils, now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 7-A, rushed for a season-high 500 yards on 37 carries by nine different runners. Seals led the way followed by Van Williams with six carries for 88 yards and Coby Reynolds 3 carries for 85 yards. Other players recording rushing yardage for the Screaming Devils included: Dominique Menchaca, 1 carry for 63 yards; Tay Erwin, 3 carries for 54 yards; Devarrus Reynolds, 4 carries for 34 yards; Steve Burley, 5 carries for 34 yards; Reginald Johnson, 5 carries for 18 yards and Kentrell Latimore, 3 carries for 8 yards.
Near the end of the first quarter, Latimore received a concussion and had to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room of McDuffie Regional Medical Center in Thomson. Coach Hutto said Latimore was released, but likely will not see action in Friday night's game against Monticello.
Defensively, the Screaming Devils held Aquinas to just 200 yards total offense: 89 on the ground and 111 through the air.
Some of the defensive standouts for Warren County were: Devon Walls, Kyree Liggins, Reginald Johnson, Darius Jenkins, Johnathan Lewis, Steve Burley, Quay Lester, Tay Erwin, Devarrus Reynolds, Antonio Benton, Latimore and Seals.
Warren County 57 Aquinas 14
Star of the game: Warren County's Tommy Seals rushed 7 times for 116 yards and passed for a pair of touchdowns in just the first half of the game.
Play of the game: Devon Walls, a senior defensive end, made a big sack on the Aquinas quarterback on their second possession for a 4-yard loss. It led to the Irish having to punt for a second time in the first quarter.
Up next: Warren County, (5-1, 3-0) plays host to Monticello at Legion Field.