WCHS played a wild regular season opener at DeKalb County on Friday with 69 points scored between both teams. The Tigers beat the Pioneers, 35-34, getting the decisive points on a successful 2-point conversion with 1:04 left.
Warren County was up by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, 34-20, but DeKalb County rallied for the final 15 points, then held the Pioneers on their final possession to preserve the win.
“It isn’t the end all, be all. It’s not the end of the season,” said WCHS coach Matt Turner after the tough loss. “We were right there with a very good DeKalb County team, and that’s a very good Pioneer football team in there. I’ve got to do a better job of having them prepared.”
The Tiger win evens the fierce border rivalry series, 9-9.
DeKalb County coach Steve Trapp said, “We were opportunistic. We made some plays when we had to. It was battle back-and-forth all night long. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half. We’d move the ball quite well on offense but then have turnovers in the red zone or have major penalties on first down that put us behind the chains and made it real difficult. Ultimately, we just keep telling our kids all the time, it’s about the next play.”
The first quarter saw three touchdowns.
DeKalb QB Briz Trapp threw a 33-yard pass on a third down to Holden Trapp for a Tiger touchdown. A failed extra point left them up 6-0, but then the Pioneers gained control.
On Warren County’s first offensive play, Nate Elrod made a 41-yard pass to Alex van Vuuren who has shown to be a strong wide receiver.
This helped as Dawson Haley later rushed for 15 yards for a first down to the 19-yard line. Grayson and Elrod together rushed 15 yards for a first down at the 7-yard line.
From there, Elrod ran the ball around the right side for a Pioneer touchdown, and with a good extra point WC led 7-6 with just over 2 minutes left in the first quarter.
As Beckham Scott kicked off to DeKalb, Holden Trapp made the return and weaved around Warren’s defense to score a touchdown from the kickoff, 12-7. He would later score another touchdown from a kickoff in the third quarter, scoring the Tigers’ first three TDs.
Big-play Braylon Grayson made an interception of a pass over the middle and returned it 26 yards to set up the second TD for the Pioneers. Grayson scored it himself, plowing up the middle from 4 yards out, 14-12 at the half.
To start the second half, Pleasant rushed for 55 yards for a first down at the 10 yard line. A penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct would bring the ball back to the 20, but that didn’t stop the Pioneers as they made another first and goal at the 9 yard line.
Pleasant would finish the drive with a 5-yard TD.
The third quarter saw another touchdown for each team, including DeKalb’s Holden Trapp with the other touchdown from the kickoff and a 72-yard sprint by Elrod with just over 1:00 left in the quarter.
On Elrod’s big play, he faked the ball to Pleasant but kept it himself around left end. The entire Tiger defense went with the fake and all Elrod had to do was plow through one tackle and ran untouched down the sideline to the end zone.
Before the quarter ended, DeKalb dropped the kickoff which was recovered by van Vuuren at the 19-yard line. Pleasant made it first and goal to end the third quarter.
WC opened the final quarter with a touchdown by Haley for 6 yards giving the Pioneers a 14-point lead, 34-20. Though this is where the Pioneers’ luck would turn. DeKalb running back Colby Barnes gained 18 yards and Briz gained 16 to get to a first down at the 24-yard line. A 24-yard pass to Malachi Trapp on a deep slant gave the Tigers their fourth TD and the Pioneers were up 34-27.
After Warren County punted without scoring, Barnes rushed for 17 yards and gained an additional 20 in catches to score another touchdown to make it 34-33.
DeKalb County was prepared to kick the extra point, but the Pioneers were whistled for encroachment, moving the ball closer to the goal line. The extra yardage was enough to convince coach Trapp to go for 2 and Barnes punches it in from a power formation running left to account for the winning margin, 35-34.
The Pioneers had 1:04 left to get in field goal range but an intentional grounding call on first down derailed the drive before it could get started as DeKalb County survived.
DeKalb County 35
Warren County 34
Warren County Pioneers
Rushing -- 36 carries for 241 yards, 5 TDs
Nate Elrod – 9 for 98 yards, 2 TDs
Jaythan Pleasant – 9 for 81 yards, TD
Braylon Grayson – 12 for 41 yards, TD
Dawson Haley – 6 for 21 yards, TD
Nate Elrod – 2 for 6 for 56 yards
Alex van Vuuren – 0 for 2
Receiving – 2 catches for 56 yards
Alex van Vuuren – 1 for 41 yards
Braylon Grayson – 1 for 15 yards
6 for 43 yards
Braylon Grayson – interception, 26-yard return
Jr. Mares -- fumble recovery
Alex van Vuuren – fumble recovery
Beckham Scott – 4 for 4 on extra points
P.J. Truax – sack
DeKalb County Tigers
Rushing – 24 carries for 135 yards
Colby Barnes – 14 for 76 yards
Briz Trapp – 10 for 59 yards
Briz Trapp – 12 for 17 for 164 yards, 3 TDs
Holden Trapp – 4 for 59 yards, TD
Josh May – 4 for 55 yards
Malachi Trapp – 2 for 29 yards, TD
Colby Barnes – 2 for 21 yards, TD
5 for 55 yards
Holden Trapp – 2 kick returns for TDs
Tigers recorded a team safety when snap went through Pioneer punter’s hands and out of the end zone
DeKalb – Holden Trapp 33-yard TD catch from Briz Trapp at 8:04, PAT no good, 6-0
Warren – Nate Elrod 7-yard TD at 2:19, PAT good, 7-6
DeKalb – Holden Trapp 80-yard kickoff return at 2:04, 2-point try no good, 12-7
Warren – Braylon Grayson 4-yard TD at 5:53, PAT good, 14-12
Warren -- Jaythan Pleasant 5-yard TD at 10:05, PAT good, 21-12
DeKalb – Safety at 3:32, 21-14
DeKalb – Holden Trapp 60-yard kick return at 3:11, PAT no good, 21-20
Warren – Nate Elrod 72-yard TD at 1:22, 2-point try no good, 27-20
Warren – Dawson Haley 6-yard TD at 11:55, PAT good, 34-20
DeKalb – Malachi Trapp 24-yard TD catch from Briz Trapp at 6:46, PAT good, 34-27
DeKalb – Colby Barnes 13-yard TD catch from Briz Trapp at 1:04, Barnes good on 2-point try, 35-34