WARRENTON, Ga. - Tommy Seals was nothing short of sensational in last Friday night's first round of the Class A football playoffs, as the Warren County High Screaming Devils continued their winning ways defeating the Eagles Landing Christian Chargers 42-29 at the new stadium in Warrenton.
Seals, the senior quarterback, rushed 22 times for a total of 210 yards. He also completed six of eight passes for another 151 yards. Seals scored four touchdowns in the game and accounted for another one on a passing play.
The victory automatically keeps the Screaming Devils, the 2007 Region 7-A Champions, at home again this Friday night, as they play host to the Jefferson Dragons in the second round of the state playoffs.
It marks the second time this season that the Screaming Devils and Dragons have faced each other on the gridiron in Warrenton. The last time was on Sept. 21 at Legion Field where Warren County came out the victors by a score of 40-28.
This time around, however, the game will be played at Warren County's new stadium, where the Screaming Devils have now won two games. Game time Friday night is 7:30 p.m.
As for the game against Eagles Landing Christian's Chargers, Warren County Head Coach Lee Hutto noted that he was pleased with his team's come from behind victory.
"We made several mistakes early in the game, fumbling the ball twice and allowing them to get two quick touchdowns, but we settled down after that and played some real good football," Coach Hutto said. "Our kids never quit, despite the early turnovers in the game. We've got to eliminate mistakes, though, if we're going to continue to win football games.
"We've got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day, because we get to practice."
Seals, who is considered a major college prospect, was pleased with his performance.
"I got into the zone several times," said Seals. "I just felt like they couldn't stop me, so I ran the ball when I saw an opening."
The Screaming Devils didn't waste any time getting on the scoreboard following the opening kickoff. Seals scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 5-yard run with 10:02 to play in the first quarter. The extra point by Antonio Benton gave Warren County a 7-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, the Screaming Devils had the ball back again, following a fumble recovery by Tay Erwin at the Warren County 28. A bad pitch, however, resulted in a Warren County turnover and gave the football right back to the Chargers at the Warren County 15. From there, the Chargers tallied their first touchdown of the game. It came on a Van Jakes 7-yard run with 7:39 left in the initial quarter. Jakes also ran for the two-point conversion, which gave the Chargers an 8-7 lead.
Another fumble just two plays later by Warren County gave the Chargers the ball back again and led to yet another score. It came on a one-yard run by quarterback Wes Carter. Erik Gailes added the extra point, which increased the Chargers' lead to 15-7.
Warren County's Darius Jenkins later recovered a Chargers' fumble and returned it for an 11-yard touchdown with 4:27 left in the first. The conversion pass from Seals to Travis Burley failed. Eagles Landing Christian's lead was then cut to just two points, 15-13.
An interception by Antonio Benton led to another Warren County touchdown in the second quarter, which allowed them to regain the lead. It culminated on a 1-yard run by Seals. And even though the conversion failed, Warren County led 19-15 with 11:13 to play in the second quarter.
The Chargers seemingly set out on a path of self-destruction, as they fumbled again - Reginald "Snoop" Johnson laying claim to the recovery. Again, the turnover led to a Warren County touchdown. It came on a 24-yard run by Seals. Benton kicked the extra point to put the Screaming Devils up 26-15 - their biggest lead of the game.
The Chargers stormed right back with another score to close the gap, 26-22 with 3:01 left in the first half. Carter managed to allude several Warren County defenders for a 36-yard romp to the end zone.
With just 23 seconds remaining before halftime, Warren County senior C.J. Williams kicked a 27-yard field goal, giving the Screaming Devils a 29-22 lead.
The Chargers returned in the third quarter and tied the game up, 29-29 on a 17-yard pass from Carter to Jordan Clanton.
It was at that time that Seals and company got down to serious business.
Seals engineered another scoring drive that ended on a 46-yard touchdown pass to Devarrus Reynolds with 3:49 left in the third. Benton's extra point made it a 36-29 game.
Reynolds ended up rushing for 42 yards in the game, while teammates Kentrell Latimore had 49 yards and Coby Reynolds had 18.
Warren County sealed the victory with another touchdown in the fourth quarter. Seals scored on another 1-yard run.
"I was real proud of the way our defense played," Coach Hutto said. "We really came up big when we had to come big."