After a third-quarter 56-8 victory over Hartford on Friday, the Peabody-Burns High School football team was detoured from going to the traditional post-game huddle. Coach David Pickens invited the team to line up and say thanks to all of the fans for their support this season.
The Warriors earned their fifth win and will next compete on Friday at home against Flint Hills Rosalia.
“We wanted to show our thanks for all of the fans coming and braving the cold to watch us play,” said Pickens. “We wanted to shake their hands and show our appreciation.”
The tone of the PBHS triumph was set on the first drive of the night. The series started at the Warrior 32-yard line and ended with a second-and-4, 15-yard touchdown run by Hunter Pickens. Braxton Kyle caught the conversion pass in the right corner of the end zone. Less than 2 minutes into the contest, the Warriors led 8-0.
The PBHS defense held Hartford to no yards on the next series. The Jaguars’ punt set up Warrior offense at midfield.
Austin Savage opened the drive with a 1-yard rush. Kyle followed with a run to the Hartford 24-yard line. On first-and-10, Pickens rushed 8 yards to the right side but suffered a leg injury and did not return to action. A Savage rush set up first-and-10 at the 12-yard-line. Kyle had three rushes for a gain of 8 yards. On fourth-and-2 at the 5-yard-line, Brooks Hodges sprinted through the middle for the score. The conversion pass failed but PBHS was up 14-0 with 7:37 on the clock in the first quarter.
On the next drive, sacks by Savage, and Xavier Jabary backed the Jaguars deep into their own territory. The Warriors’ defense scored six with a blocked punt recovered by Savage in the end zone. Kyle crossed the goal line to the right side of the line for the conversion. With 4:11 left in the quarter, PBHS led 22-0.
Savage, Lucas Larsen, and Keifer Larsen had tackles on the next series. Jabary stripped the football from a Jaguar and Savage took the ball to the Hartford 23-yard line. Kyle advanced the ball to the 10 on a quarterback keeper but was sacked on the next down for a loss of 9 yards. Savage gained back 3 on second down. On third-and-goal at the 16, Kyle connected with Tommy Morris in the middle of the end zone. Kyle ran for the two-point conversion. The Warriors led 30-0 with 1:43 left in the first period.
The Hartford offense had the ball into the early seconds of the second quarter, but Jabary sacked the quarterback and Larsen recovered the ball. PBHS ran a red zone offense at the 10. Savage earned 6 on first down with a middle rush. The conversion pass was incomplete but the score was 36-0 less than a minute into the second period.
The next score in the contest went to the Jaguars’ defense. A Hartford lineman recovered a fumble after a muffed PBHS exchange and ran the field for 70-yard score. The conversion run added 2. Hartford got on the board, 36-8, with 8:29 left in the half.
The ensuing kick-off was taken by Jabary, the up back, and Warrior offense worked a short field from the Hartford 26. Savage ran on first and second down and earned a first down on a third-down sweep. Kyle connected with Lucas Larsen on the next play for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Kyle earned two on the conversion. PBHS led 44-8 with 6:42 on the clock.
Savage had the last PBHS score in the first half. On first-and-goal from the six, PBHS went up 50-8 with the Savage run. The conversion failed but PBHS led 50-8 at the half.
Hartford opened the second half with a long drive that covered 50 yards. Christian Gard, Jayden Miller, Lucas Larsen, Kyle, and Jabary all recorded defensive stops. The series ended with a Jabary fourth-down sack at the Warrior 20-yard line.
Kyle earned 3 on first down and moved the ball to midfield on second down for a new first down. Three downs produced no yards, but on fourth-and-5 at the Warrior 39, Morris caught a Kyle pass and dashed to the end zone. Due to the 45-point rule, the contest ended 56-8 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Kyle was 3-for-7 for 75 yards and rushed 18 times for 64 yards. Pickens had one pass for 3 yards and three rushes for 49 yards. Savage had nine runs for 48 yards. Larsen caught one ball for 13 yards. Hodges had one run for 5 yards. Morris caught three passes for 62 yards.
Morris led the squad with five tackles. Lucas Larsen, Kyle, Keifer Larsen, Jabary and Miller recorded four stops each. Savage had three tackles and Pickens, Hodges and Gard each had 1.