Football: Monday Morning QB - Morehead
September 15, 2013By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
In a word.... GLORIOUS!! A glorious night indeed at Western Alamance High School for Friday's Homecoming festivities. If you were in Elon and did not come to the game, then it was your loss because you missed a great event. An "extravaganza" if you will. Here's what we had...
Let me reference the Josh Cranfill story first because its something you don't want to miss. If I heard things correctly, News2 is doing a special feature on Josh this Thursday (Sept 19th) at 10:00pm. It will be two-way look into the inspiration that Josh provides to Western Alamance athletics AND the inspiration he draws from his Warrior Family. I know that its something that I do NOT want to miss and I'm sure you feel the same way! So put it on your calendar and set your DVR for this one!
Three big takeways from this game for me...
Takeaway #1: I love how the Warrior offense is evolving. In game 4, the offensive coaches are opening up the playbook and starting to diversify and get all of the weapons involved. Some creativity got the ball in the hands of playmakers such as Brock Deatherage, Justin Wilson, and Dexter Brower. Some nice calls and reads utilized the massive TE target that is Hunter Lent (2 TD receptions). And some other guys are stepping up and making plays (Britt "Bond" Smith; Neil Haizlip; and KC Okoronkwo). The OL was doing their job up front and simply put... The only thing that kept the Warriors from putting up 70+ points was, in fact, the Warriors themselves. Which leads us to the next takeaway....
Takeaway #2: The turnovers and excessive penalties must stop. And they will. I have faith in this staff/team's ability to assess and correct mistakes. But the fact of the matter is that WA is NOT going to have a successful finish to the season if it turns the ball over 5 times in a game. Nor will WA come out on the winning end of the scoreboard with the plethora of penalties (specifically the personal fouls) that have dogged the Warriors for the past 2 weeks.
Offense sells tickets; but DEFENSE is what wins championships!
Its as simple as this... I don't care if you score 100 points; you can still lose. The other team can score 101.
But if you don't give up any points, you're gonna win (or at least tie).
And I'm liking what I see from the Warrior defense.
And even though the Warriors gave the ball away 5 times, they also generated 4 turnovers to instantly (in a couple of cases) thwart any comeback attempt by Morehead.
Coach Mitchener introduced the sledgehammer to the Warrior program a few years ago as a symbol of hardwork; tenacity; and a "You'll never outwork us" attitude.
But its been eerily absent from the program thus far in 2013. When I asked about its absence a couple of weeks ago, I was informed that the Warriors had not earned the right to carry the sledgehammer onto the field in 2013.
But its back now! At just the right time as conference play is heating up. Its a good sign and a good omen! WE NEED THE HAMMER!
Now lets talk about some key performers from Friday night starting with Morehead.
I've got to give props to the Panther's QB who was substituted into the lineup due to an injury to Morehead's starter. I thought #3 did an admirable job under heavy pressure from the Warrior Front 7.
And I was impressed with the toughness and tenacity of #1 & #7. Little guys in stature but they played with the proverbial "chip on their shoulder" and were very aggressive and feisty; sometimes a little too much but, still, I've got to admire their passion for the game.
Starting with some of the "regulars"...
Brock "Beep Beep" Deatherage - A big game for the Warrior senior. Brock recovered 2 fumbles and scored a TD on offense. A second TD (75 yards of beautiful running) was called back due to penalty. He very nearly returned a kickoff for another TD but got tripped up by a shoestring tackle.
I really liked how Brock was used on offense. He got 3-4 series under center playing QB and wasn't just one-dimensional. Historically, when Brock goes in at QB, you kind of expect him to take a shotgun snap and then take off running. But this week, Brock got the opportunity to hand the ball off a few times and throw some passes. Talk about giving the opposition something to think about and have to prepare for!?!?!?!?!
PS - I know the secret... The secret that gives insight as to how Brock got to be so fast. It goes like this...
Can't you just picture Brock as a little toddler sitting there in his diaper, holding his bottle, sucking on a binkie, and saying....
"Mommy! I wanna watch WoadWunner!!" LINK
Justin "Primetime" Wilson - To me, a true turning point in the game took place in a 3-play series that went back-and-forth-and-back-again.
First, WA turned the ball over setting Morehead up in great field position. On the next play, Justin had a highlight-reel interception in the endzone to give the ball back to the Warriors. And on the next play from scrimmage, Trey McCollum galloped 80 yards for a TD! So J-Wil's high-flying pick essentially resulted in 14-point swing. As his nickname implies... Justin shines when the lights are the brightest!
And J-Wil also set the Warriors up in great field position on a couple of occasions with some nifty punt returns.
Donovan "YAC" Apple - Don was used sparingly in the contest. And although Don probably didn't like it, I think it was a smart move by the Warrior coaches to limit his touches in this game.
Don dishes out a lot of punishment so he endures a little more wear-and-tear than a typical RB. However, Don made the most of his touches by extending his consecutive game streak of TDs (he had 2 on the night) and making some bruising runs up the middle.
Hunter Lent - Hunter usually makes headlines with his punting. But with the offense clicking like it did on Friday night, Hunter didn't get much use out of his punting leg (with only 1 punt coming in the final minutes of play).
However, Hunter made great use of his steady hands hauling in 2 pretty passes along the sidelines both of which were for touchdowns! I'm telling you folks... He is THE secret weapon. A 6'5" TE with soft hands is deadly!
Trey McCollum - Its fun and interesting to watch Trey grow up right before our eyes. You may not see it from the stands, but I see from up close. Trey is much more confident and relaxed as we now approach mid-season. The game has slowed down for him and he is assuming a leadership role. He was given many more opportunities to make plays on Friday night and he did just that. Mark my words... He will be special. And talk about special... That 80-yd TD scamper was it!
Britt "Bond" Smith - Another big game on both sides of the ball. I don't know how he does it, but he Warriors very own "James Bond of The Gridiron" always seems to find himself in the right place at the right time.
Bond had some big catches (including a magnificent grab along the home sideline) and a pick on defense. He's very humble but also very confident at the same time. Yep.... I think the nickname fits him! :)
Now lets shift gears now and talk about some guys who caught my eye but who normally aren't in the spotlight. These guys are the ones who have the opportunity to surprise some people and truly impact just how successful the Warriors can be in 2013.
PS - Speaking of Kendall.... Did you know that he recently earned his Eagle Scout badge?!?!?!?
WOW! That is IMPRESSIVE! Congratulations Kendall
And now I have a plea for help.... I NEED SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING SILLY AND/OR STUPID!
We're entering Week 5 and I have virtually nothing for my end-of-season "Cmon Man" video tribute. This is NOT good. Somebody... Anybody... Please goof off so I can get a clip or 2!
Trust me... I know you have it in you to be goofy!
Lets face it... The Dawgs are down. They've lost their best player(s) and are fading fast. HOWEVER.... This will be their Superbowl. They would like nothing better than to put an end to the 11-year (I think) WA winning streak and knock us from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Warrior Nation is calling for a "White Out" over at Williams High School on Friday night. So my plea to all of you is to wear your white jersey/shirt/sweater/sweatshirt/whatever and make Bulldog stadium look like this:
REPRESENT! Be loud and proud and simply refuse to lose.
Because I really, really, REALLY want to use my favorite picture in next week's MMQB article. When we finish the game with the Bulldogs, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. And this, my friends, is the picture I see in my mind....