Warriors advance to 8-man state playoffs

Staff writer

Class 8-man District champs is the new title for the Peabody- Burns football team. In an all-or-nothing Halloween match-up, the squad traveled to Lebo for the final game of the season. Peabody came out on top 36-14 and played Tuesday against Clifton-Clyde.

Clayton Philpott returned the opening Lebo kickoff to the Warrior 28. Fred Winsor had a big first-down run to the Lebo 37. Winsor ran for 5 yards on first down. Keifer Larsen earned a new first down with a nine-yard gain. Braxton Kyle pitched to Winsor to advance one yard. Winsor was stopped on second down for no gain. Philpott caught a third-and-9 pass for the 22-yard score. Winsor took the Kyle handoff to the left side of the end zone for the extra two. Peabody led 8-0 with 9 minutes and 45 seconds left in the first.

Kevin Baatrup halted the next drive with an end zone interception of a Lebo pass for a touchback.

The Warrior offense then put together a seven-minute drive that covered 55 yards. The series included runs by Larsen, Kyle, Winsor and a completed pass to Baatrup. It also included a bad snap and a holding penalty, and did not produce points. Peabody turned the ball over at the Lebo 7.

The Warrior defense held tough next on an 11-play drive with tackles by Kyle Seeney, Baatrup, Xavier Jabary, Winsor, and Larsen. The Wolves turned the ball over on downs at the Warrior 10 with 9:25 on the clock in the second quarter.

Deep in their own territory, the Warrior offense struggled on the next series. Winsor and Kyle each had gains, but on fourth-and-4 at the Warrior 12, Kyle punted the ball. Lebo blocked the punt and Kyle fell on it in the end zone for the safety. The Wolves cut the lead to six, 8-2 with 7:32 left in the half.

Jabary kicked the free kick and Lebo got the ball at their own 18-yard line. Two incomplete passes were followed by a third-and-10 pass completion to move the chains. Another complete pass, followed by the run after the catch, ended in the end zone. Philpott downed the conversion runner to stop the extra points. The game was tied 8-8 with 6:45 left in the second.

Winsor returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield. A 39-yard first down gain by Winsor set up first and goal at the Lebo 6. Holding on the next play moved the Warriors back 10. Kyle handed off to Philpott, and he scored on a 16-yard run. Kyle ran a keeper for the conversion. PBHS had the 16-8 lead with 6:09 on the clock.

Lebo got the kickoff at midfield. An illegal shift pushed them back to their own 30. A pass play on the next down was intercepted by Winsor. The Peabody offense set up at the Warrior 24.

Winsor gained 10 on first down. Kyle followed blockers to the Lebo 24, and a new first down. It took 3 Winsor runs to set up first-and-goal at the Lebo 5-yard line. Winsor scored on the next play, but a holding penalty brought the ball out to the 15-yard line. Three plays later, a fumble was recovered by the Wolves at their own 6-yard line.

The Warrior defense disrupted the Lebo offense, stopping a first-down pass and forcing an intentional grounding penalty on a second-down pass. On third-and-15 from the Lebo 12, Winsor stripped the ball and Jabary came up with the fumble.

One play later, the Peabody offense gave the ball back to the Wolves on a fumble.

Another Warrior defensive stand, with a sack by Jabary, kept Lebo on their end of the field. Time ran out on fourth-and-18 at the Wolves 12-yard line. Peabody had the 16-8 lead at the half.

Vince Newman stopped the return man at the Lebo 25 on the Jabary kickoff. Jabary and Seeney caused a loss of one on first down. Two incomplete passes brought up fourth-and-11 at the 24.

The next series opened with a Warrior holding call. Kyle pitched to Winsor on the next down for a gain of 7. Winsor gained 9 more on second down. Kyle ran a keeper on third-and-4 to move the chains to the Lebo 36. Winsor ran for 27 yards on second down to set up first-and-goal at the Wolves 3. Kyle got the score on a run through the middle. The conversion pass fell incomplete. The Warriors increased the margin to 22-8 with 8:48 left in the third.

Palazon had a short kickoff that was fair caught at the Lebo 25. Kyle, Winsor, Jabary, Seeney and Larsen each had tackles on the 5 play drive. A fake punt was stopped at the Wolves 34-yard line.

The next scoring drive for Peabody came two series later, set up by a Lebo pass that went through the hands of the receiver and was caught by Kyle. He returned the ball to the Wolves 28-yard line.

A first-down fumbled snap sent the Warriors back 3. On second-and-13, Kyle pitched the ball to Philpott. He skirted the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown. He then added 2 more on the conversion run. The Warriors led 30-8 with 4:28 left in the third.

Lebo had the next scoring opportunity early in the fourth. A 23-yard rush through the middle of the defense gave the Wolves 6 points. Winsor stopped the conversion attempt, and the Warriors were up 30-14.

Both teams had a series before Philpott ran 39 yards for the final score in the contest, putting Peabody up 36-14 with 5:27 left.

“This team proved they could respond to the weather,” Coach David Pickens said. “The last time we played on a wet field, it did not end in our favor. Even though our team made mistakes, they focused on the next play like it was going to be the best one. On a sloppy field, this was a great contest for our kids. I am so proud of them.”

Kyle completed 2 out of 4 passes for 30 yards and rushed 20 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Philpott had 10 carries for 126 yard and 3 scores. He also caught one pass for a 23-yard score. Winsor earned 205 yards on 25 carries. Larsen had 6 runs for 14 yards. Baatrup caught a pass for 7 yards.

Winsor, Seeney, Jabary and Kyle led the defense with 7 tackles each. Larsen followed with 6. Baatrup added 5. Philpott had 3. Reynolds added 2. Gibson, Newman and Terronez each recorded 1.

 

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