Prep Football Warriors come up short against Red Devils, 28-20 | The Cullman Tribune

Prep Football

Warriors come up short against Red Devils, 28-20

WEST POINT - The West Point Warriors hosted the Red Devils of Lawrence County Friday night for their final game of the regular season. The Warriors honored their 18 senior players before kickoff, but the momentum of the night was seized by the Red Devils as soon as the game kicked off.

The Warriors and Red Devils played a close and competitive game but a big score to start the game ended up being the difference in a 28-20 loss for West Point. Senior return man for Lawrence County, Cameron Carpenter, ran the opening kick back 75 yards for a touchdown to immediately put his team up 7-0.

The Warriors responded on their next possession with a 90-yard scoring drive capped off by a 21-yard touchdown run from junior running back Hunter Persall. All 90 yards of the scoring drive came from Persall.

The Warriors’ defense could not slow down the Red Devils’ running game, allowing 143 yards and two touchdowns from the Lawrence County backfield led by senior running backs Jacob Gholston and Xavier Boyd.

The Warriors hit a big play in the passing game just before the half with a 65-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Rylan Jones to his senior wide out Kolton Easterwood. That play cut the Lawrence County lead to 21-14 at halftime with the opening kick return being the big difference in the game.

Both teams continued to run the ball effectively in the second half with just a couple of key plays making the difference. West Point was on its way to a game-tying touchdown in the third quarter but a fumble inside the 5-yard line cost the Warriors potentially seven points.

On the following possession for Lawrence County, special teams’ standout for the Red Devils, Carpenter, picked up a long fourth down on a fake punt to extend a drive late in the third quarter. Just two plays later, Gholston extended Lawrence County’s lead to 28-14 early in the fourth quarter.

Persall and the Warriors moved the ball down the field on their next possession, but a lightning delay went into effect with just less than eight minutes to play. The teams and fans made their way to their locker rooms and cars for shelter. After an hour and a half, a few dozen fans of both teams made their way to back to the stands to finish up the game.

On the first play out of the delay, West Point quarterback Jones scored on a run up the middle from 6 yards out. The Warriors couldn’t come up with a 2-point conversion and kicked the ball back to the Red Devils down 28-20.

The Warriors’ defense came up with a stop on fourth down and inches on its own 20-yard line to give the offense the ball back with 2:05 to play.

Persall and the offense made their way down the field quickly thanks to a couple of explosive running plays and a 25-yard completion from Jones to junior wide receiver Steven Rodriguez that got the ball all the way down to the Red Devils’ 10-yard line.

After three run attempts and a pass, the Warriors were stopped on the 4-yard line to end the ball game. The Warriors offense couldn’t come up with some key plays in places despite another impressive performance from junior Persall, who finished with 263 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries.

The loss closes the regular season for West Point at 6-4; 4-2 in 5A Region 6, as the Warriors prepare this week to travel to Brooks next Friday for round one of the 2017 playoffs.

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