WARRENTON, Ga. -- It's a joyous time for the football team at Warren County High School. The reason: It's time again for the state playoffs and the Screaming Devils can't wait.
Following back-to-back losses to the Washington-Wilkes Tigers and Lincoln County Red Devils to close out the regular season, the 4-6 Screaming Devils will be playing Darlington in the first round of the Class A state playoffs Friday night in Rome.
"I'm really proud of this team," said Warren County head coach Marleau Blount. "They've worked real hard this season and proven they can play some of the best teams in this area."
Take their most recent loss for example. They traveled to Lincolnton Friday night where the Red Devils of head coach Larry Campbell narrowly escaped defeat with a 19-18 win. The week before, they nearly bumped off the visiting Washington-Wilkes Tigers at Albert J. Massey Field in Warrenton. The final score was 21-18.
"Those were two pretty tough losses and I hope we learned some things from them," Blount said. "We have to find ways to win close games."
In the game against Lincoln County, the Screaming Devils managed to score touchdowns in both the first and second quarters to jump out 12-0.
Warren County quarterback Dondracus Dozier fired a 19-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jenkins with 3:54 left in the first quarter to gave the Screaming Devils a 6-0 lead. The two-point conversion pass attempt failed.
The Screaming Devils' second touchdown was scored by Tay Erwin following a 98-yard fumble recovery just 15 seconds into the second quarter.
Devonte Wright later scored on a 15-yard run that put Lincoln County on the scoreboard with 6:29 left in first-half action. Walker Smith kicked the extra point, which cut into Warren County's lead, 12-7.
With 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Screaming Devils got into the end zone again with a 10-yard run by Dozier. Again the two-point conversion play failed. At that point, Warren County led 18-7.
Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by Lincoln County proved to be Warren County's downfall. The first score came on a 1-yard run by Franklin Sherman with 11:01 left in the game. It was followed by a 10-yard run by Wright with 5:20 that gave the Red Devils the lead for the first time in the game.
Three turnovers -- two by way of interception and the other by fumble -- proved costly down the stretch for Warren County.
The leading rushers for the Screaming Devils were Dozier with 14 carries for 41 yards and Coby Reynolds with 9 carries for 17 yards. Dozier also passed for 114 yards, completing 4-of-9 passes. The leading receiver for Warren County was Cornelius Pinkston with 3 receptions for 95 yards.