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Warren bumps East Central with last-minute touchdown
Russell Brown looks for running room after intercepting a Warren pass. Brown had multiple interceptions against the Warriors.
East Central 44
SAN ANTONIO -- In a game that went back and forth throughout the night, the Warren Warrior football team scored a touchdown with 38 seconds remaining in the game to grab a 48-44 win over the East Central Hornets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hornets struck first late in the opening quarter as Johnathan Jackson scored from 10 yards out. Dalton Zigmond kicked the extra point. Warren then looked to tie the game midway through the second quarter as the Warriors capped off a scoring drive with a 1-yard run from Aedric Robinson. The point-after attempt was no good, though, and the Hornets held a 1-point lead. Four minutes later, Warren scored its second touchdown of the game on a Robinson 13-yard scoring run. The Warriors converted on the extra point, and Warren led East Central 13-7 with 2:39 to play in the half.
One of the things fans love about the new Hornet offense is its ability to move quickly. East Central took just 74 seconds to drive down the field on its next possession and scored on a 37-yard passing play from quarterback Jeremy Jones to receiver Treyvon Hinson. The extra point was good, and the Hornets were back on top, 14-13.
The scoring wasn’t quite over, though. The Hornet defense has been a nightmare for opponents all season, and it came up with a big play to give the ball back to the East Central offense. The Hornets didn’t squander the opportunity either, and tacked on another 3 points with a Zigmond field goal to make it a 17-13 contest at the half.
Just as they had done in the first half, the Hornets also struck first in the second half when Jones connected with Dallas Polasek for 33 yards and a touchdown. Zigmond booted the extra point, and the score was 24-13 for the Hornets.
Warren came rolling back, though, scoring two touchdowns in little more than two minutes. The first came on a 12-yard passing play, and the second on a 55-yard Robinson run. At the 3:59 mark of the third quarter, the score stood at 27-24 in favor of the Warriors.
The quick pace continued as the Hornets went back on offense, and East Central used less than a minute of the game clock to score on another Jones-to-Hinson pass from 74 yards out. Zigmond’s kick was good, and the Hornets were back on top, 31-27.
Not to be outdone, Warren used less than a minute on its next scoring drive, as a 6-yard passing play gave the lead back to the Warriors. As the teams moved into the fourth quarter, Warren held a 34-31 advantage.
The Hornets tied things up in the opening minute of the fourth quarter with a 23-yard field goal from Zigmond. East Central then took a 37-34 lead on a 29-yard field goal with 6:22 to play in the game. Robinson scored his fifth touchdown of the game for Warren to put the Warriors up 41-37, but Jackson scored his second touchdown of the night for the Hornets to put East Central ahead 44-41 with 2:35 to play in the game.
The Hornet defense did its best to hold the Warriors at bay, but Warren moved deep into the red zone and allowed quarterback Jordan Sneed to run in from 10 yards out. The extra point was good, and the Warriors took a 48-44 lead with just 38 seconds remaining in the game. The Warren defense held off the Hornet offense, and the bi-district game came to an end with the Warriors advancing, and East Central’s season coming to an end.
Jones completed 11 of 20 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns on the night. Hinson was the team’s leading receiver with five grabs for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Polasek caught three passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, Javion Polk pulled in two tosses for 39 yards, and Wanya Ward caught a pass for 16. Jackson handled most of the running duties, picking up 168 yards on 24 carries. Polk ran 12 times for 50 yards, and Jones had 13 official runs for 31 yards.
The Hornets end their first season under Head Coach Clint Hartman with an overall record of 5-6. East Central made a 5-5 run through the regular season, and was 3-2 in district play to finish in a second-place tie with Southwest and Corpus Christi Carroll.
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