Peabody-Burns Warriors football accomplished a rare goal Thursday in the senior night 66-18 victory over Lebo. Not only did the team become Class 1A 8-man district champions, but they finished their 9-game regular season without a loss.
“We have not had a football team finish the regular season undefeated since 1977,” PBHS Athletic Director Ray Savage said.
The exclamation point came 20 seconds before the half when Kevin Baatrup caught a pass from Braxton Kyle to give the Warriors a 64-18 edge. With a conversion run by Kiefer Larsen, the game ended at the half due to the mercy rule.
“Lots of teams start the season with a dream to win throughout,” Head Coach David Pickens said. “To finish 9-0 is very difficult. These athletes are special and very talented. They love playing the game and they do it very well. We are so proud of their performance.”
The Warriors jumped out to a fast start against Lebo, scoring the first 30 points in the contest. Marcus Knight put the Warriors on the board with a 36-yard run for the score. Larsen added the conversion for an 8-0 lead. The next score came when Nicholas Preheim created a fumble that Kaden Gibson picked up and returned 26 yards for a touchdown. Kyle ran for the conversion. PBHS was up 16-0 with 7:49 on the clock. Kyle got the next score with a 31-yard run down the right sideline. Defense got the next score when a Lebo miscue by the punter ended with a Kyle fumble recovery in the end zone. Kyle tacked on the extra 2 and PBHS led 30-0 late in the first.
Lebo scored on a 39-yard run with 14 seconds left in the quarter. The Warriors were up 30-6 at the end of the period.
Larsen set up the next series with a 30-yard run to give the Warriors first-and goal at the 3-yard line. Kyle ran it in from there to finish the four-play drive.
Lebo scored next on a 38-yard run to make the score 36-12 with 8 minutes left in the second.
The ensuing kick-off went short and was returned 41 yards by Brooks Hodges to the Lebo 18-yard line. Kyle took the second-and-2 snap and made the 11-yard score. The Warriors were up 42-12 with seven minutes left in the half.
A Warriors pass was intercepted to set up the next 31- yard score for Lebo. The score favored PBHS 42-18.
Working from the PBHS 28 yard line, the Warriors moved downfield with a run by Clayton Philpott and a huge 47-yard catch by Austin Reynolds. They finished the drive with a pitch to Philpott for the 16-yard score. Philpott scored the extra 2. With 3:00 left in the quarter, the Warriors led 50-18.
An errant Lebo pass landed in the arms of Kyle in the next drive to set up first-and-goal at the 5-yard-line. Hodges scored on a run through the middle. Kyle tacked on a 2-point run to put the team up 58-18 with under 2 minutes left in the period.
Kyle intercepted another pass on the next series and scored, but a block in the back brought the ball back to the Lebo 14-yard line. With 20 seconds left in the half, Kyle connected with Baatrup in the end zone for 6. Larsen added 2 to make the score 66-18.
The defense ended the game, holding Lebo to run out the clock for the win.
In the passing game, Kyle was 2-for-8 for 58 yards, 1 touchdown and an interception. Reynolds caught a pass for 45 yards and Baatrup caught one for 14 yards and a touchdown. Kyle led the rushing game with 4 carries for 48 yards and 3 scores. Knight had 2 carries for 38 yards and a score. Philpott had 3 carries for 20 yards and 1 touchdown. Hodges had 2 rushes for 12 yards and a score. Larsen gained 31 yards on 2 carries and Baatrup had 1 carry for 24 yards.
Kyle led the defense with 7 1/2 tackles and 2 interceptions. Gibson followed with 5 tackles, and Hodges and Dakota Reynolds had 4 each. Colton Terronez added 3 and Andrew Wedel recorded 2.