The White County Warriors rolled to their fourth straight win with a 28-7 victory over Clay County on Thursday night in Celina.
The Warriors raced out to a 22-0 first quarter lead, and never let the Bulldogs back into the game despite several penalties on a rainy night.
“It’s a win,” said WCHS head coach Mark Frasier. “I thought we played well defensively and at times we moved the ball. We’ve got to have some composure and know how to carry ourselves on a football field. 15-yard penalties for taunting is embarrassing for me and our coaching staff.”
The Warriors came out ready to play. Freshman quarterback Owen Adams scrambled 28 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game to give Sparta a 7-0 lead.
Sparta continued its fast start later in the quarter when Javyn Strode made a leaping catch in the end zone on a pass from Adams to stretch the lead to 14-0.
Hunter Pope turned in his second straight dominant performance on both sides of the ball, tallying several key defensive stops. His first rushing touchdown of the night came from eight yards out. A successful two-point conversion gave the Warriors a 22-0 lead.
The Warriors were plagued by penalties in the second quarter and early in the third as the offense slowed down. Clay County got within 15 on a 32-yard trick-play touchdown that cut the deficit to 22-17. Sparta immediately responded with a drive that was capped by a six-yard touchdown rush by Pope to make it 28-7.
“He carries us,” said Frasier on Pope. “We took him out and they start running up and down the field. We put him in, and it gets stopped. On offense, it’s the same way, he’s our guy. He’s definitely a player.”
The Warriors’ defense has been particularly strong during the four-game winning streak.
“Tonight was probably even better than the weeks before,” said Frasier. “(Clay County’s) a 5-2 football team that we, kind of, dominated on the defensive side. We played well on defense. I’m excited about the way we’re playing.”
The Warriors (5-3) will now turn their attention towards a showdown with Macon County (6-1, 2-0) before finishing the season against Goodpasture (6-1, 2-1).
“Our big tests are coming up,” said Frasier. “To me, this is a huge next two weeks for us. Macon County is a one-loss team. Goodpasture has one loss. Both schools are really highly touted to make playoff runs. We’ll find out where we’re at.”
Photos by Noah McKay: