Warriors win football opener, 70-32

Staff writer

Peabody-Burns High School football coach David Pickens opened his post-game speech with congratulations for his 2012 Warriors. His team defeated White City, 70-32, Friday at White City.

“I’m thrilled with 70 points on the board, but would like to see you hold the opponent to a lot less than 36,” Pickens told his team in the after-game huddle. “We have plenty of mistakes to correct before next week, but I am proud of you. You came to hit and you hit hard. Now we have to build on that.”

The Warriors took an early 6-0 lead on a 4-minute drive that covered 65 yards. Hunter Pickens, Austin Savage, Braxton Kyle, and Christian Gard all had carries on the drive. Pickens finished the drive with a second and goal nine-yard run to the right into the end zone. The point after was no good.

On the first White City drive, the PBHS defense had stops from Lucas Larsen, Savage, Kyle, and Pickens. On third-and-15 from the Huskies’ 30-yard line, a bad snap was recovered by Savage. That play set up the Warriors’ offense at the White City 20 yard line.

Kyle, Pickens, and Savage combined to move the ball to the 2-yard line. On second-and-goal, Pickens punched through the Huskies’ line for the score. Savage grabbed a Pickens pass for the extra two points. PBHS went up 14-0 with 4 minutes, 3 seconds left in the first quarter.

The next PBHS scoring drive was set up early in the second quarter when Christian Gard got a hand on a White City pass to break-up a fourth-and-3 attempt. PBHS took over on their own 15-yard line.

A drive included runs by Savage and Kyle, but it also included a block in the back, a bad snap and a delay of game penalty. With a net gain of five yards on the seven-play drive, Pickens found Kyle on third-and-26. Kyle continued downfield for the score. Pickens burst through the middle for the extra two points. With 7:15 left in the second quarter, PBHS led, 22-0.

White City got on the board one minute later with a broken play that went 30 yards for the score. The Huskies cut the Warriors’ lead, 22-6.

PBHS scored twice more before the half. The first came when Tommy Morris finished a 45-yard drive with a third-and-5 catch in the end zone and Savage added a two-point run. The last PBHS score of the first half was a punt return by Pickens. With 1:40 left before the break, PBHS had the 36-6 lead.

White City added one more score with 42 seconds left in the second quarter. Morris broke up the P.A.T. pass. The Warriors had the 36-12 lead at the half.

Xavier Jabary, Larsen, Kyle, Seth Topham, Gard, Pickens, Morris, and Savage all had defensive plays in the first half of the competition.

Larsen had a big play on the second half-opening kickoff with a fumble recovery but the offense turned the ball over on the next play with an intercepted pass.

PBHS defense pushed the Huskies back 13 yards on the drive. On fourth-and-10 at the 5-yard line, Kyle tackled the White City punter in the end zone. The Warriors added a safety and went up, 38-12 with 10:10 on the clock in the third.

A long pass play gave the Huskies the next points on the board. White City cut the Warriors’ lead to 38-18 with 7:49 on the clock.

Less than a minute later a Peabody-Burns drive of two plays added the next score. Kyle had a 23-yard catch and run to set up a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line. Savage earned the touchdown. PBHS led, 44-18.

With 6:02 on the clock, White City added six more with a short pass to the left. Pickens broke up the extra-point pass. The gap was 44-24.

The third quarter tally continued with two more scores from PBHS offense. Morris added a pass catch on a second-and-13 from the Husky 32-yard line for six. Kyle led the way for Pickens for the extra two.

The last third-quarter score came from Pickens. A bad Husky snap set up an 11-yard drive. PBHS led 58-24 at the end of three.

The Warriors’ offense added two more scores in the fourth. Gard caught a 13-yard pass for six and Pickens returned a kick-off for a touchdown.

White City added one more score in the fourth. PBHS earned the season opening victory, 70-32.

“Starting with a win feels good, it was lots of fun,” David Pickens said. “We were up and made the mistake and letting them get back in the game. Our team will have to use this as a learning experience because we will meet teams that will capitalize on that mistake. We now have to prepare for Little River at home. They are solid and deeper.”

Hunter Pickens completed 10-of-18 passes for 253 yards and 4 touchdowns. Gard caught 4 passes for 89 yards. Kyle had 3 catches for 74 yards. Morris caught two balls for 62 yards. Garret Schroeder had one catch for 22 yards and Topham snagged one for 6. Pickens had 18 carries for 106 yards. Kyle carried 14 times for 62 yards. Savage was 9 for 25.

Pickens, Topham, and Kyle led the defense with 6 tackles each. Gard had 5. Morris earned 4, and Savage, Jan Liska and Jabary each had 3. Schroeder and Larsen each had 2.

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