The Warrenton football team is off to a commanding start in GAC North play, having dispatched its first two conference opponents. The Warriors improved to 2-2 on the season, holding off St. Charles …
The Warrenton football team is off to a commanding start in GAC North play, having dispatched its first two conference opponents. The Warriors improved to 2-0 in conference, holding off St. Charles West 28-14 on the road last Friday. Warrenton is 2-2 overall on the season.
“Every week I feel like we’re getting a little bit better,” said Coach Jason Koper. “I feel like overall the progression is going in the right direction. We’re getting big plays from guys that are young but gaining experience.”
With starting running back Issiah Jones sidelined by an injury, Koper turned to the aerial attack and leaned heavily on underclassmen to cover his absence.
“My goal was to throw the ball about 30 to 35 times,” said Koper. “We were right in line with what we wanted to do.”
Senior quarterback Caelon Weir completed 11 of 29 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Much of the offense flowed through sophomore Joe Goldsmith, who contributed in every area of the game. He finished with 124 receiving yards on four catches and had another 91 rushing yards on 16 carries, while also recording a sack and eight tackles.
“He had a monster of a game,” said Koper. “That’s about as good of an individual performance you could ever ask for from a kid.”
Goldsmith scored the first and final touchdowns for the Warriors, helping them claw back from a 14-0 deficit during the second quarter.
St. Charles West dominated the time of possession in the opening period, going ahead 7-0 after a deliberate seven-minute drive. Another long series extended the lead early in the second quarter, before the Warrenton defense anchored down.
“We started getting the stops we needed and forced a couple of fumbles,” said Koper. “Our defense held up and didn’t allow them to move much after that.”
That was where the Warriors’ offense kicked in, scoring all four of their touchdowns prior to halftime.
Goldsmith scored on consecutive drives, just under two minutes a part.
Senior Kolby Meine added the third touchdown at the 4:00 mark of the second quarter, and Goldsmith would again score with just 13 seconds remaining before halftime.
“Caelon started completing passes with one big play after another,” said Koper. “The gameplan we had in place was really effective during that second quarter.”
Senior Joe Evans was also a big contributor during this stretch, snagging for four receptions for 147 yards.
The Warriors relied on their own defense to fend off any chance of a St. Charles West comeback. Neither team found the end zone during the second half, allowing Warrenton to escape with its second victory over St. Charles West in as many years.
“The scoreboard was not indicative of what the score could have been,” said Koper. “We had several dropped passes in the second half that would have gone for touchdowns. It’s always great to go 2-0, but we left a lot of points on the board.”
The Warriors also had to contend with the departure of Goldsmith later in the game, as he too became sidelined with an injury. Freshman Austin Haas came in to take some reps in the backfield, carrying the ball four times for 35 yards. Warrenton will also look to senior John Starkey and freshman Mason Stout in the running game.
Starkey led the Warriors defensively last Friday, recording nine tackles and his third fumble recovery of the season.
Warrenton will host Union in non-conference action this Friday at 7 p.m.