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Warriors lose to Cougars in 8-man debut

Staff writer

Peabody-Burns Warriors opened their 8-man season Friday at Centre. The Warriors lost the contest, 54-20. The team will now prepare for the home opener against Wakefield.

PBHS won the toss and elected to receive the football. The Warriors lost possession when the short kickoff bounced forward off into the hands of a Cougar.

Warrior defense worked a short field with the Cougar offense starting at the PBHS 27-yard line.

Storm Pickens and Spencer Moffett came up with defensive stops on the drive to force a fourth and inches at the 18-yard line. Abe Eldridge mustered a big stop on the down and PBHS took over offense at their own 18-yard line.

A Cougar off sides call made the first down try five yards closer but a PBHS illegal shift negated the gift. Derek Price gained four yards on first and 10 from the 18. Another Cougar off sides penalty put the Warriors at second and one at the Warrior 27. Pickens took a hand-off from his brother, Hunter Pickens, and scampered 53 yards down the right sideline for a Warrior score. Quarterback H. Pickens then added the 2-point conversion with a carry to the right side of the line.

The Warriors took the early lead in the 8-0 contest with 10:30 left in the first quarter.

Centre fielded Austin Savage’s kick-off but Derek Price stopped the Cougars at their own 22. Lucas Larsen held the first down play to four with a defensive stop at the 26. A second-down Cougar pass was intercepted by Storm Pickens and was returned to the Warrior 32.

PBHS could not make anything happen on the drive, losing four yards on three downs. Savage punted the ball and the Cougars took over on their own 35.

Despite defensive plays by Price, Eldridge, Clint Jones, Storm Pickens, Moffett, Brody Kyle, and Trevor Foth, Centre went 45 yards on a 2:30 drive for a Cougar score. A pass play added two and the contest was tied, 8-8, with 5:37 left in the first quarter.

A deep kick-off that went in the end zone pinned the Warriors at their own 15 on the next series. A bad snap backed up the team on first down. Two plays later, an ill-fated reverse to Price ended with a safety and the Centre squad took their first lead in the competition, 10-8.

A cougar fumble on the free kick by Elbridge put the PBHS offense back on the field at the Warrior 26-yard line. Storm Pickens kept the drive alive on a fourth and one at the Warrior 35 when Pickens advanced the ball to the 40-yard line for a new set of downs. The drive then went in reverse ending with a Savage punt on fourth and 26 at the Warrior 24-yard line.

With 1:55 on the clock, the Cougars connected on the next series with a first and 10 pass play and a big run after the catch. They added a 2-point run conversion and the Cougars took the 18-8 lead.

The Warriors started the next drive on the 15 because of a cougar kick into the end zone. Storm Pickens and Price each had a carry on the drive but the quarter ended with a sack of Eldridge on third down. Savage kicked the ball away on fourth down and the Warrior defense again was put to the test.

PBHS defense did the job on the next play as Storm Pickens intercepted the ball and set up the Warrior offense at the Cougar 32. Storm Pickens rushed on first down and a Cougar facemask call moved the ball to the Centre 18. PBHS moved the ball one yard in three rushes to set up fourth and eight on the Cougar 17. The Warrior offense scored on fourth down with a pass from Eldridge to Price in the end zone. The 2-point conversion failed, but PBHS closed the gap, 18-14, with 10:22 left in the half.

Brent Jones stopped the run-back of the ensuing kick-off at the Cougar 31-yard line. The Warrior defense continued strong on the series and forced the Cougars to turn over the ball on downs when Clint Jones sacked the Centre quarterback at the Cougar 35-yard line.

PBHS offense had a bad snap on the first down and a procedure penalty on second down that backed up the team into their own territory. Eldridge got the Warriors out of trouble with a big run on third down to move the ball to the Centre 24. Storm Pickens, Price, and Eldridge all rushed on the next four downs and a facemask call on fourth down set up first and goal at the nine. Storm Pickens took the ball through the middle for the score and the Warriors regained the lead at 20-18 with 5:53 left in the half.

Defensive plays by Storm Pickens, Wes Shaw, and Kyle helped to slow the Cougars on the next series. PBHS offense came back on the field after a Price interception of a Centre pass.

With just two minutes left in the half, the Warriors moved the ball successfully on two runs from Storm Pickens to earn a new set of downs.

The next four downs went nowhere for the PBHS squad and they were forced to settle for a Savage punt.

Working less than half the field, the Cougars moved the ball and scored a touchdown with less than 6 seconds left in the first half. Centre again took the lead, 24-20.

The half ended midfield on a kick-off run back by Eldridge.

The second half spelled disaster for the PBHS squad as they were held scoreless by the Cougar squad. Centre however put up five scores, including another safety. The Warriors were defeated by the Cougars, 54-20.

Last modified Sept. 8, 2010

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