Warriors set sights on Eagles, GAC title

By: 
Derrick Forsythe
Staff Writer

With its latest conference foe picking up the pieces in the rearview mirror, the Warrenton football team can more confidently set its sights on the GAC title.

The Warriors dispatched Winfield 34-0 last Friday, improving to 3-0 in the league play and 3-4 overall. A defining home matchup with Orchard Farm awaits this week, as Warrenton looks to claim the conference championship outright — something it has not accomplished since 2001, during the first decade of Coach Steve McDowell’s career.

“We’ve got to come in and finish out the sweep this week,” said McDowell. “They’re going to be a very tough opponent. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”

The Warriors last defeated Orchard Farm to share GAC bragging rights in 2017.

This year Warrenton has managed to keep most of its players on the field during a time when many areas teams are reeling with injuries or minus personnel due to quarantine.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate and not too banged up this year,” said McDowell. “It’s nice to have everybody available and ready to play.”

That can especially be said for junior running back Quincy McRoberts, who dismantled Winfield with 160 yards on just 14 carries. He scored the first of three touchdowns in the final minute of the opening quarter, scrambling 57 yards to the end zone.

“We ended up in a fourth and seven situation to start the game and didn't convert,” said McDowell. “After that our offense really starting clicking again.”

It didn’t take long for McRoberts to find pay dirt again, scoring on a 20-yard touchdown with 9:44 remaining in the second quarter.

“Quincy had another outstanding game,” said McDowell. “Teams are starting to key on him quite a bit, but he was able to get outside and score on a couple toss plays to punch the ball in. He’s a great weapon to have in the backfield.”

Freshman Joe Goldsmith scored his first-ever varsity touchdown on a 12-yard pass to push the Warriors ahead 20-0 going into halftime.

It was part of a reliable contribution from junior quarterback Caelon Weir, who completed 7 of 10 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

“He had a really nice evening and was able to get the ball into some different people’s hands,” said McDowell. “We always want to establish the run and with Quincy being successful, we were able to get open a lot in the passing game.”

Warrenton added another touchdown in each of the final two quarters, including a 10-yard run by McRoberts.

Senior Chase Cook closed out the contest by hauling in a 22-yard touchdown catch from Weir in the fourth period. He finished with 46 yards on three receptions.

Junior Isaiah Jones contributed to the running game with 58 yards on eight catches.

As consistent as the offense was, it was perhaps the defense that had the most notable achievement in recording the Warriors’ first shutout since blanking Troy in 2014.

Senior Jack Russell was disruptive on the line, recording a sack, while seniors Connor Tittel and Tyler Conoyer each snagged interceptions.

“Our defense really came out and played Friday night,” said McDowell. “Jack had a huge night at the defensive end position. Our secondary came up with two big interceptions.”

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