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Turnovers spell doom for Warriors in 62-26 loss

Miscues spoil strong early start against Wakefield

News editor

Peabody-Burns was in the thick of it with Wakefield until the Bombers turned an interception and two fumbles into second-quarter touchdowns, and the Warriors couldn’t mount a second-half comeback in a 62-26 loss Friday at home.

As they did last week, the Warriors mounted an impressive first drive, only to see a fumble kill it at the Wakefield 32.

The Bombers cashed in on a 10-play scoring drive and two-point conversion to lead 8-0 with 5 minutes, 3 seconds left in the first quarter.

Peabody-Burns wasted no time striking back. On second-and-18 at their own 16-yard line, Bryant Young dropped back and found Matthew Montigny for a 64-yard touchdown to make the score 8-6.

Not to be outdone, Wakefield responded on its first play from scrimmage after the kickoff with a 42-yard touchdown run by Ashton Pickering to extend the lead to 14-6.

Peabody-Burns started the next drive on its own 16. After two running plays netted 8 yards, Young stepped up in the pocket and hit Andrew Hauck with a pass at the Wakefield 35. Pushed back by a penalty to the Warriors 39, Young and Hauck hooked up again on a slant that Hauck toted to the Wakefield 12. Jess Philpott took a pitch around the left side for a touchdown, and after two penalties, Hauck curled into the end zone and caught the two-point conversion, knotting the score at 14-14 with 1:13 left in the first quarter.

The Warriors defense got two big stops on consecutive series, but Wakefield’s Nathan Jackson picked off a Young pass and ran it in from the Warriors 20 for a touchdown. The point-after attempt was no good, but the Bombers led 20-14.

Two Peabody-Burns fumbles deep in their own territory turned into two Wakefield touchdowns, and the Bombers found themselves up 32-14 going into halftime.

Any faint hope Peabody-Burns had of coming back in the second half was crushed in the third quarter. Wakefield scored on its opening drive, then scored again after recovering an errant Warriors punt snap at the Peabody-Burns 4. Two more bad snaps with the Warriors backed up against their goal line resulted in two safeties, and the Bombers were up 50-14.

The Warriors got a big play from Daniel Hammond when he partially blocked a Wakefield punt and Tyler Entz returned it to the Wakefield 26. A facemask penalty against the Bombers set the Warriors up on the Wakefield 13 with 5:35 remaining in the game.

Philpott got the Warriors on the board again with a 5-yard run with 3:56 to go.

Then Landon Rives pounced on an errant Wakefield pitch at the Bombers 5, and the next play found Philpott in the end zone again, making the score 56-26.

Wakefield scored again at the 1:11 mark to account for the 62-26 final.

Aside from the troublesone glut of turnovers, coach David Pickens found several encouraging aspects of his team’s play against the larger Bombers squad.

“They didn’t beat us up as bad as the scoreboard shows; we kind of did it to ourselves,” he said. “To put 26 points on the board against that team right there, I think we did a pretty good job. And to turn the ball over five times against them and not let them get 45 (points ahead), that’s a feat.”

Pickens installed a new spread offense for the game.

“We saw these guys on film and we knew we were not going to be able to just line up and do what we did the week before; they’re a big, physical team,” he said. “So we decided we were going to put in a whole new offensive philosophy. We had them stunned for the first half, but in the second half they made their adjustments, and we didn’t have enough to counter what they did.”

Hauck, converted from tailback to receiver to minimize some of the hits that led to a couple of concussions last year, did well, Pickens said.

“We just kind of threw him in there because he has good hands and he has decent speed,” he said.

As a team with just three seniors and two juniors, Pickens was pleased with the late-game performance of his younger players when the team scored its two late touchdowns.

“Those were real important,” he said. “If you looked out there, we had a lot of young guys playing, and they still had their varsity guys out there. Even though our young guys stood on the sidelines and watched what was going on, to come out there and compete hard says something about them.”

While the Warriors are 0-2, playing against two “big and tough” teams at the start will pay dividends as the team moves ahead, Pickens said.

“It tells you what you have and gives you a chance to grow, and down the line that’s going to pay off,” he said. “We know we can stop those guys, and if we can stop those guys, why can’t we stop anybody?”

The Warriors will try to notch their first win of the season on the road Friday at Canton-Galva. The Eagles lost to Solomon 66-34 on Sept. 1, but bounced back Friday to thrash Rural Vista, 62-6.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2017

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