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Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - Southern 2014

September 1, 2014
By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School

A quick recap of last week's "unpleasant surprises" that needed to be addressed:

  1. Problems with punt execution
  2. Lack of vertical/downfield passing game
  3. Breakdowns in defensive secondary
  4. FINISH!



Mission accomplished!  My work here is done.  Well...  Not quite.  But we did make significant progress while in the SAC (Southern Alamance County) on Friday evening.  And the result was emphatic:  A thorough dismantling of a solid 4A ballclub. 

The Warriors came out strong and put this game away quickly.  For all intents and purposes, this game was over at halftime.  Maybe even sooner.  And there was no late game collapse.  WA played all 4 quarters en route to a 42-14 win over the Patriots of Southern Alamance.  So it was a great transition into the long weekend and a much needed confidence boost for our Warriors!



Why did the Warriors get off to such a strong start???   Perhaps we were helped along and inspired in a big way by the TREMENDOUS fan support!!!!!!!!!!!!


I love traveling to away games and essentially dominating the stadium.  Warrior Nation was decked out in full camo gear and put on quite a show!  And I absolutely love it when our band, dance team, and cheerleaders can travel to away games.  In a word, It was just...  Special! 


Here's a sampling of some of the sites:








It is a holiday weekend and we have a house full of company so I'm going to be a little more straight-to-the-point in today's article for a strictly selfish reason...  The ocean is calling my name and its the unofficial "Last Weekend of Summer" so I want to put my toes in the water.  This being the case, lets jump straight into the game summary and observations.


Kudos to the WA coaching staff for a million things but I have time to only mention a couple that got my attention on Friday evening:

  1. Kay, Ricky, & myself all commented on the increased attention being given to Hunter Lent as a receiving target at the TE spot.  Hunter got several looks early and really served to add another dimension to the offense.  Although it didn't result in any TDs or huge gains, I'd have to say the the playcall (ran several times) that gave me the most satisfaction was when Hunter would block for a "one thousand one...  one thousand two..." count and then release into the flat.  By this time, the Warrior Wideouts had drawn the attention of the Patriot secondary and cleared them out.  All that was left to defend our 6'5" 225lb TE was a 5'9" 170lb Patriot LB.  With Trey rolling out in the same direction as Hunter, it became a simple game of pitch-and-catch.  Virtually unstoppable.  Easy pickings for an almost guaranteed 5-10 yards.  I'll take that all night long!
  2. "Unorthodox" personnel usage.  Specifically, the use of "skill" players along the DL for purpose of pass rushing.  Naming names...  Watch when #32 (Josiah Bellamy) and/or #3 (Dexter Brower) lineup along the DL.  Lanky, strong, and extremly fast, these guys bull-rush the OT and create a physical mismatch that has been EXTREMELY effective in getting pressure on the opposing QB. 


Listen to me people.  Football isn't just a physical game.  Its very much a mental and strategic game.  Our coaches spend countless hours watching film, evaluating players, and looking for ways to exploit talent and mismatches. 


Its a chess game of the X's and O's.  And we've got some true chess masters on our sidelines and in the pressbox.


Our Coaches








Their Coaches


NOTE:  On the one-in-a-million chance that an opposing coach is reading this article.... 

No offense intended.  Just teasing.  Its just really that I really do love our coaching staff!

Speaking of Josiah Bellamy....   WOW!  

Another Sophomore Sensation.  The young man is a beast!  We watched him play in the JV game on Thu evening he was the proverbial "Man Amongst Boys."  It was almost "unfair" when Josiah was on the field at the JV level.  


Yeah...  But...  Friday night was NOT JV...  Its VARSITY!  Surely Josiah wouldn't standout at the varsity level as well would he????     Oh yeah!!  On both sides of the ball!


I'm telling you Warrior Nation....  Keep an eye on #32!  He's going to be a good one.

Just one problem though....  We've got to loosen Josiah up a little.  He's ALL business along the sidelines and on the field.


If this keeps up,  I might have to give Josiah the nickname "The Chief" (in reference to former Boston Celtics great, Robert Parish, who was known for his stoic expressions and on-the-court all-business attitude).






Shoutout to the Warrior OL!!  They used to call themselves the "Water Buffaloes" so I'm going to stick with that nickname.


Minus one senior starter (Loften Johnson) who was nursing a tweaked hamstring, the Water Bufs got the job done!  WA put up big numbers on offense.  The running attack was extremely potent as was the passing attack.  For the second week in a row, I do not recall a single sack of QB Trey McCollum.

Perhaps more than any other position group, the OL works together as a close-knit unit instead of individuals.  I'm not sure who filled in for Loften specifically, but I did notice Chase Alexander on the field a lot.  So we definitely had some young guys stepping up!


I've got to be careful with my next set of comments to make sure they are not misconstrued.   So let me precede my player commentary with this statement: 

I can (and will) say this because he knows I love him and have immense respect & admiration for his abilities.  I never call players out publicly.  But, in my head, I was calling out Britton Smith after the Cummings game.

Voice in my head post-game on Aug 22nd: 

"Britton Smith...  You need to step up!  You're a senior and this is YOUR year.  Find a way to get open!  Make a play!   If you want a scholarhip, you need to shine and not blend into the crowd.  You're too good to be 'just another player'"


Voice in my head post-game on Aug 29th: 

"Britton Smith...  THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT SON!  FANTASTIC GAME!  And you took over.  Offense!  Defense!!  Special teams!!!"


That he did!  And then some!   Living up to his nickname as Agent 0-0-9 (aka - "Bond"), #9 was seemingly everywhere on Friday evening.

When he caught a pass for a nice gain along the Warrior sideline early in the game, I was like...  "Yep...  Game on!"  And it only got better.

Soon thereafter, Bond caught his first TD pass of the seaon. 


And then...  THE PLAY!  


As captured by News2, Britton made a leaping interception of a Patriot pass attempt on the far sideline.  After what seemed like a solid 60 seconds (but was probably only about 10), Britton zig-zagged his way across the field and turned the play into our first "Pick 6" of the season.  It was an scintilating play that surely provided THE highlight of the evening.


But he wasn't done yet.  Britton very nearly scored on special teams as he returned a Southern punt all the way to the 2 yard line before being pushed out of bounds.


Britton....  Don't make me have to call you out again (in my head)!  Keep it up! 



Trey McCollum was sneaky-great once again.  His play and stat line reminded me of our previous QB, Nigel "The Ninja" Carlton.  I called Nigel the Ninja because he just sort of snuck up on you.

As was the case with Nigel, it is the case with Trey that you don't realize how good of game he has played until you see the post-game stats and watch the video.


Trey was the WPCM Player of the Game and now has his face on the big billboard on I-40 near Cox Toyota.  188 yards of total offense.  1 rushing TD and 3 passing TDs (from what I recall). 




Another excellent game from our Jr. signal caller!

 OK...  OK...  I said I was going to keep the concise and that hasn't been case so far so let me go into "Express" mode.


Quick shoutouts:


Poo Poo - Another great effort at RB.  With Donovan Apple sitting out with an injured back, Darius/BJ/PooPoo Pinnix had another good game.  16 carries for 73 yards.  2 TDs (3yd and 41yd).   Whenever he makes a play, I think the crowd should start chanting...   "Poo!  Poo!"


AJ Love - Recorded an early interception to setup a Warrior TD.  AJ is playing well for the Warriors.


James Dean Houser - Got his first TD catch of his varsity career!  James Dean also had another amazing catch that was (incorrectly) overruled by a penalty.  The young man is really coming into his own.



Matt Harper - I saw #54 in on several plays.  Matt plays with a lot of fire and intensity.  Because he's a little on the "lean" side but with 500lbs of scrappiness in him, Matt is morphing into the WA version of Scrappy Doo!




Ty Parker - Ty recorded his first ever "reception" on a tipped pass and was rumblin' bumblin' stumblin' his way to paydirt (for about 3 seconds before a pair of Patriot defenders ended "Don Pablo's" SportsCenter fantasy).  But let's give big Ty props for paying attention and playing heads up football.


He could go ALL...  THE... WAY....






WARRIOR DEFENSE - The WA D only gave up one offensive TD very late in the game.  It was a stellar performance for the #Villains!



Jake Christman - Rarely do I make reference to the week's JV game, but this week young Jake put on a show that deserves props.  The freshman ran for over 200 yards with 1 TD and a 2-point conversion.  He also got his first varsity playing time and had a couple of nice runs late in the game.  Jake is one-to-watch!



Things to work on this week:

  1. Penalties.  We had 12 on Friday night.  That's way too many.
  2. Kickoff Coverage:  SA had one kick return for a TD and, very nearly, another.  'Nuff said. 


Next up...  The Graham Red Devils.   A very potent offense that has put up big numbers thus far in 2014.  Last week, they beat Williams 45-44.  In week 1, they gave EA all they could handle in another high-scoring affair.


Graham:  Obviously, the Warrior Defense will need to have another stellar performance to slow down the high-flying Red Devil offense.  Daniel Graves is a stud for Graham and must be contained.  I'm sure he'll make some plays, but we can't let him take over the game.  The Graham QB, Jamie Newman, is also outstanding and is being recruited for collegiate football.  Graham definitely has offensive weapons galore.


However, it would appear that Graham's defense is not very strong so I expect the Warriors to put up some points.  


This one should be entertaining.  We'll need another strong showing by Warrior Nation to keep our non-conference record intact.  


For now...  Enjoy your Labor Day!  Its time to hit the beach!

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