The Peabody-Burns High School Warriors football team claimed victory over the Centre Cougars in their home opener Friday. The home team outscored the visitors, 36-6. Up next for the team is a road trip to Wakefield on Friday.
Special teams back Hunter Pickens opened the contest with a 73-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors the early edge. Austin Savage tacked on a 2-point conversion run, PBHS led, 8-0, with 15 seconds off the clock in the competition.
Cougar offense set up for their first series on their own 30-yard line. Lucas Larsen, Braxton Kyle and Brent Jones were credited with tackles on the series that ended at the Warrior 2-yard line on a fumbled ball recovered by Brody Kyle.
The next Warrior offensive series ended in a fumbled exchange at the Cougar 26-yard line. Centre had one snap, but Larsen intercepted a Centre pass to set up the next scoring drive.
Braxton Kyle had two runs for a gain of 9. Quarterback Pickens called a keeper on third-and-inches and got a new set of downs. On first-and-10 at the Cougar 12-yard line, Pickens hit Brody Kyle on a right side passing route and set up a second-and-3 at the 5-yard line. Braxton Kyle took the ball left and scored the touchdown. The conversion run was no good, but PBHS led, 14-0, with 5:27 left in the first quarter.
The third score for the PBHS team was set up by a Cougar fumble at the Centre 33-yard line. Pickens called his own number and ran 46 yards for 6 points. The conversion pass fell short, but the Warriors led, 20-0, with 3:44 left in the first.
The Cougars used the remainder of the first period for a 50-yard offensive drive. The team got as close as the 1-yard line, but Pickens intercepted a pass and halted the drive.
The next PBHS offensive scoring drive came with less than two minutes in the half. Starting at the Warrior 30-yard line, Pickens connected with Matt Hiebert and earned a first-and-10 at the Cougar 19-yard line. Another big completion to Brody Kyle set up the team at the Cougar 1-yard line. The first down call lost 2 yards but Savage regained the yards on a second-down push. With 0.6 seconds on the clock, Pickens ran to the right side for the points. He also added 2, and PBHS led, 28-0, at halftime.
Defensive stops in the first half were recorded by Larsen, Braxton Kyle, Jones, Pickens, Brody Kyle, Xavier Jabary, Christian Gard, Allen McLaughlin, Brooks Hodges, Wesley Shaw, and Savage.
The second half started with the Cougars on offense, but Warrior defensive stops by Braxton Kyle, Savage, Brody Kyle Gard, Jones and Pickens halted the team midfield.
Pickens earned a new set of downs on a first-down run. Savage got the call next and Braxton Kyle moved the ball to the Centre 25-yard line. Pickens had two tries and then on fourth-and-goal at the 4-yard line, Savage added the last Warrior touchdown in the contest. Pickens ran for the conversion. PBHS led, 36-0, with 6:53 left in the third.
PBHS defense held tight for most of the second half but did allow a score on fourth-and-7 from the 12-yard line. The Warrior defense stopped the extra points and the score was 36-6 with one minute left in the ballgame.
Defensive plays in the second half were made by Savage, Braxton Kyle, Larsen, Brody Kyle, Jones, Garrett Schroeder, Gard, Jabary, Hodges, Devon McGonigal, Juan Jaramillo, and McLaughlin.
Pickens led the rushing game with 15 runs for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns. Savage was 9 for 60 and one touchdown. Braxton Kyle was 5 for 20 and a touchdown.
Pickens completed five of seven pass attempts for 66 yards. Savage had one pass for 13 yards. Brody Kyle caught three passes for 30 yards. Braxton Kyle caught two for 13, and Hiebert grabbed one pass for 36 yards.
Jabary, 11; Savage, 10; Brody Kyle, 9; Larsen, 6; Braxton Kyle, 5; Hodges, 5; Gard, 5; Pickens, 3; Jones, 2; Hiebert, 2; Shaw, 2; Topham, 1; McLaughlin, 1; and Schroeder, 1.