The Warrenton Warriors defeated the Washington Blue Jays 21-18 in a Missouri high school football game on August 31, 2023.
Austin Haas rushed for 173 yards and Charlie Blondin added 190 yards through the air as the Warrenton Warriors (2-0) held off a furious fourth quarter rally from the Washington Blue Jays (1-1) to win 21-18 on Aug. 31.
Haas scored on the first drive of the game to give Warrenton an early 7-0 lead. Charlie Blondin then passed for touchdowns in the second and third quarters, and a strong defensive performance gave the Warriors a 21-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Warriors offense had a chance to put the game away for good in the fourth quarter. After a 38-yard pass completion put the ball on the 1-yard line, the Warriors offense failed to punch it in, and Washington blocked the field goal attempt.
The Blue Jays then marched down the field and scored. After adding a two-point conversion, Warrenton got the ball back with a 21-18 lead.
But again the Warriors were able to march down the field and had a first-and-goal situation with just minutes remaining in the game.
History, unfortunately, repeated itself as the Warrenton offense was unable to add any points and turned the ball over on downs, made worse after Blondin was called for intentional grounding on fourth down.
"We got shut down in the red zone,, and that's on me as a coach," Warrenton coach Jason Koper said. "I've got to do a better job of getting our guys in position to score."
But Koper knew his defense was up to the task of getting one final stop. And the defense held, with time running out before Washington could attempt a last-second play.
Koper said he could not be more proud of the Warriors defensive effort.
"Washington's a very good football team," Koper said. "We knew it was going to be a physical game. Our big challenge to our players the whole week was that we need to match their physicality."
Warrenton's defense did just that.
Kadin Stroer led the way defensively with 13 tackles and five assists, along with being one of four Warriors to record a sack.
The defense also shut down Landon Boston, Washington's star running back, holding him to just 34 yards on 17 carries.
"Our defense layed phenomenal," Koper said. "We swarm to the ball. We were always tackling. ... I couldn't be prouder of the way our defense played. They played a fantastic game.
The win also gives the Warriors two tough victories of Class 5 teams. Warrenton defeated Fort Zumwalt South in week one after a fourth-quarter score.
"I don't think this is the best football we're going to play this year," Koper said. "I still think we have more potential and more upside to our team. We've just got to keep working and keep improving and I think we'll start clicking on all cylinders."
The Warriors play next at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Owensville.
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