Photos by Rasheeda Usry
At the beginning of the 2015 season, many expected that the Warren County Middle School Screaming Devils would struggle to win even one game this Season. According to Coach Johnson, some area coaches even pointed to the schedule at the summer meeting and pointed out the games that would not even be close. Instead of entering the season with an already defeated mindset, Coach Johnson used the words of those familiar with the program as motivation to prove the naysayers wrong.
Wednesday's league championship game at The Brickyard in Thomson was the culmination of a season spent proving that Screaming Devils, while small in number, could make big things happen. The Screaming Devils lost only one game in the regular season and proved to most everyone that these Devils are ready to compete with anyone.
The championship game saw Warren County matched up once again with the only team that they had lost to all year. Thomson defeated the Screaming Devils by the score of 20-8 in the final game of the regular season at Albert J. Massey Field in Warrenton.
Warren County took the opening kickoff and struggled to get their offense going in their first possession. Coach Johnson decided to gamble early in the game and went for it on 4th and about 5 from the Warren County 35 yard line. The Bulldogs stopped the Devils for a loss on the play and took over with excellent field position on the Warren County 33.
The Bulldogs quickly took advantage of the short field and scored their first points of the contest on a one yard run by Casey Donald. The two point conversion was good and Thomson held an 8-0 lead with 3:49 to go in the first quarter.
Coach Johnson had stated before the game that he felt his best defense against Thomson would be to keep his offense on the field. That is exactly what his team did in their second possession. After the ensuing kickoff, the Devils' offense took the field at their own 34 yard line. Warren County then put together a drive that went 67 yards and kept the ball out of the hands of the Thomson offense for seven minutes and 48 seconds. The drive was capped off by a two yard touchdown run by Justin Allen. The two point conversion was no good, and Thomson held an 8-6 lead with 4:01 to go in the first half.
Lavosea Carroll would give Warren County another opportunity to put points on the board late in the second quarter when he intercepted a pass for the Screaming Devils near mid field. The Devils were unable to move the football however, and turned the ball back over to the Bulldogs with a little over a minute to go in the half.
Thomson moved the ball down to the one yard line before punching it in on fourth down with only 9 seconds to go in the half. The touchdown and two point conversion made the score 16-6 at the half.
With Carroll struggling from the effects of an injury sustained last week, the Devils found it difficult to mount a charge in the second half. The number of Warren County players who play both offense and defense began to take its toll as the game progressed. The Bulldogs posted 18 points in the second half to win the game by the score of 34-6.
The loss didn't dampen the spirits of neither the Warren County coaches or players. Assistant Coach, Jack Jennings stated, "This is only our first year together as a staff and we made it all the way to the big game."