Despite a 40-yard touchdown run by Tiger Sheldon Barnes in Bradwell’ s opening drive against Jenkins on Friday night, the Warriors reversed the roles and consumed the clock to earn their first victory of the season at Olvey Field in Hinesville.
Barnes carried the ball 13 times for more than 100 yards and Tiger quarterback Wilson Brown had 15 carries, breaking the century mark. However, Jenkins proved they could run the ball, too, and scored their first touchdown on a 65-yard kick return.
"They did what they had to do, and that was keep our offense off the field and use up the clock," Tiger coach Jim Walsh said. "We let them control the clock, which is normally our forte. We came out the first series and executed and we looked good driving the ball downfield and we (the players) thought, ‘Hey, this is going to be an easy night.’ And we let out guard down and we are not an experienced enough team to do that."Walsh said he warned the team ahead of the game to be prepared to play all four quarters, but he said they failed to execute when needed.
Also hindering the Tigers, Ulrick John was helped off the field in the second quarter because of a leg injury. The Tigers’ new center had a few high snaps, forcing Brown to chase the ball.
The Warriors kick return for a touchdown ignited the sidelines, and the visiting team gained momentum. Jenkins’ margin of victory could have been wider if it weren’t for two missed field goals, a field goal knocked down by Tiger Delrish Moore and a touchdown run that was called back for a penalty.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers mounted a final attempt to even the score, but a few penalties and a critical stop by the Warriors gave them back the ball deep inside their own red zone with three seconds left in regulation. They took a kneee to end the game.
The Warriors came into Olvey intent on earning their first win, and as Walsh said after the game, "We just didn’t handle it well."
The Tigers are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Region 3-AAAAA.