In the first quarter, the Warriors played three series on offense and two on defense. K/WR Ethan Rice kicked off to the Legacy Titans and DT/RB/C Josiah Damiani tackled the runner at his 25 yard line. DT/DE Mark Haynes started the series with a 6 yard sack. A few plays later, he forced an incomplete pass by pressuring the quarterback. On the next play, RB/CB Daniel Abraham forced a fumble and DE/TE John Gill recovered the ball. The Warrior offense took the field at the Legacy 40 yard line. On 3rd and 10, QB Drew Harrison had a 16 yard pass to TE/MLB Ezra Criswell for a first down. WR/SS Bryson Zbylot had a 9 yard reception immediately afterwards. OLB/RB Caleb Harmon had an 8 yard rushing touchdown to finish the 8 play drive. Ethan Rice’s extra point was good and the Warriors took a 7-0 lead with 4:00 left in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Legacy returned the kickoff for a touchdown. When they attempted to kick the extra point, CB/RB Anthony Carias blocked the kick and kept the Titans from tying the game. The score was 7-6 with 3:42 left in the first quarter. Legacy kicked off to WR/CB Jackson Resurreccion, who returned it 18 yards to his 37 yard line. Caleb Harmon continued to make his presence known with a 31 yard rush on the first play of the drive. Drew Harrison threw a 32 yard touchdown pass to Bryson Zbylot, who ran untouched into the end zone. Ethan Rice capped off the short but efficient drive with an extra point. The score was 14-6 with 3:19 left in the first quarter. Ethan’s kickoff was caught at the Titans’ 33 yard line. A 10 yard penalty on Legacy put them at 1st and 20. A 2 yard TFL by John Gill helped to end the offensive series and the Titans punted from their 30 yard line. The ball was downed at the Warrior 48 yard line. A 4 yard reception by Jackson Resurreccion, an incomplete pass, and a 5 yard run by OLB/FB/RB Garrett England brought the Warriors to 4th and 1. They decided to go for it, but a 5 yard penalty ended the first quarter and they would end up punting. The score was 14-6.
During the second quarter, the offense was on the field for one series and the defense played two series. Ethan Rice punted to start the quarter and the ball was downed at the Legacy 11 yard line. They went three and out and punted thanks to a 4 yard sack by Garrett England. The ball was downed at the Warrior 36 yard line. Their only offensive series of the second quarter was a long one, lasting for 12 plays. A 9 yard reception by Jackson Resurreccion, a 15 yard reception by Garrett England, and an 8 yard run by Daniel Abraham brought the ball to the Titan 39 yard line. A sack on the next play put the Warriors at 3rd and 11, but 10 yard pass to Jackson Resurreccion brought them to 4th and 1. A 2 yard quarterback sneak by Drew Harrison gave the Warriors a fresh set of downs at the opponent’s 28 yard line. Daniel Abraham continued the drive with another strong run, this time for 13 yards. Unfortunately, Drew Harrison threw an interception two plays later, but he was able to chase down and tackle the player around the Warrior 45 yard line. A block in the back penalty on the Titans negated the return and put their offense at their 5 yard line. There was 1:36 left in the game. Legacy was able to get four first downs in eight plays, but the clock ran out before they could enter the red zone and score. The first half of the game ended with a score of 14-6.
The Warrior offense and defense each played two series during the third quarter. The Titans kicked off to Caleb Harmon, who returned the ball 25 yards to his 41 yard line. The offensive drive lasted for 12 plays. Daniel Abraham had an 8 yard run and a 3 yard run to get a first down at the beginning of the series. It was continued with a 9 yard run by Caleb Harmon. Ezra Criswell caught an 18 yard pass on 3rd and 6 at the Titans’ 33 yard line and moved the ball into the red zone. A run for no gain and two incomplete passes stalled the drive. The Warriors attempted a field goal but the snap was bad, the hold was fumbled, and the kick was no good. The Titans got the ball at their 26 yard line. Their offense made it to the Warrior 47 yard line in five plays and was driving well when a running back dropped a handoff. The fumble was recovered by John Gill, his second of the game. The Warrior offense got the ball at their 47 yard line. Daniel Abraham started the series with a 7 yard run, which ended up being the longest play of the short drive. The Warriors were forced to punt again, andEthan Rice was able to pin the Titans back at their 4 yard line. Their offense only had time for three plays, including a sack by DE Jeremiah Wilkins, before the third quarter ended. The score was still 14-6.
There were a total of four offensive drives and four defensive drives by the Warriors during the fourth quarter. The Legacy offensive series from the previous quarter continued but didn’t last long. Jeremiah Wilkins made back to back plays, sacking the Legacy quarterback on third down, and then blocking the punt. He gave the Warriors possession at the opponent’s 7 yard line. Caleb Harmon scored immediately with a 7 yard run, his second rushing touchdown of the game. Ethan Rice’s extra point was good and the Warriors took a 21-6 lead with 10:23 left in the fourth quarter. Ethan kicked off and Ezra Criswell forced the returner out of bounds at the Legacy 26 yard line. Two plays into the series, Daniel Abraham intercepted a pass along the sideline, but he was ruled out of bounds. The Titans went for it on 4th and 1 from their 36 yard line, but a 2 yard TFL by Garrett England forced a turnover on downs. Daniel Abraham started the drive on offense with a run for 10 yards, but the Warriors couldn’t get a first down afterwards and tried a field goal from the Legacy 17 yard line. Drew Harrison fumbled the snap but instead of losing the ball, he threw an 8 yard pass to Josiah Damiani, saving the drive. A 6 yard run by Daniel Abraham continued the series but the Warriors weren’t able to get another first down. They tried another quarterback sneak on 4th and goal at the 1 yard line but were unsuccessful. The Titans were equally unsuccessful on their offensive drive and couldn’t convert on 4th and 16. The Warriors got the ball at the Legacy 9 yard line. Caleb Harmon had a 9 yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the series. It was his third score of the game. Ethan Rice made the extra point and the Warriors added to their lead. The score was 28-6 with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter. Ethan kicked off for a touchback and the Titans had possession at their 25 yard line. Six plays into the drive, Mark Haynes had a 9 yard sack. Legacy answered with a 43 yard passing touchdown and went for a two point conversion. They tried a pass into the endzone but it fell incomplete. The Warriors were still ahead 28-12 with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter. The Titans tried an onside kick, but it was recovered by Payton Holland. The Warriors ran one play before lining up in victory formation. They won 28-12. The game wasn’t perfect, but the Warriors were dominant in nearly every aspect. The passing game produced 119 yards and a touchdown, while the rushing attack had 146 yards and three touchdowns. The special teams blocked a punt and an extra point and gave the offense good field position. The defense only allowed one touchdown in garbage time, had five sacks, and recovered two fumbles. Overall, the Warriors showed that they are more than ready to compete in Florida next week. The team is in great position to win the championship.
Drew Harrison was 10 of 17 for 119 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His quarterback rating was 75.4. The rushing attack was led by Caleb Harmon, who had 12 runs for 77 yards and three touchdowns. Daniel Abraham had the second most rushing yards on 12 carries for 63 yards. Garrett England had the third most rushing yards with a total of 10 on 5 carries. Bryson Zbylot led the team in receiving yards with 2 catches for 41 yards, including a 32 yard touchdown. The second most receiving yards were contributed by Ezra Criswell, who had 2 catches for 34 yards. Jackson Resurreccion had a total of 21 yards on 4 receptions.
On the defensive side of the ball, Reagan Zbylot led the team in tackles with a total of 9. Caleb Harmon and Daniel Abraham tied for the second most tackles with 8 each. Caleb also had 1 TFL and Daniel caused a fumble. Garrett England and John Gill tied for the third most tackles with 6. In addition, Garrett had 1 TFL and 1 sack. John also had 1 TFL and 2 fumble recoveries. MLB/RB Conner Burke and Jeremiah Wilkins each had a total of 5 tackles. Conner had 1 TFL and Jeremiah had 2 sacks and a blocked punt.
I interviewed G/NG Tom Frye about the offensive line’s performance, what the team is going to work on to prepare for Nationals, and some teammates that played well.
Ella: How do you feel about the team’s overall performance tonight?
Tom: So we started out really strong with those two touchdowns. The drive was good. I feel like there was a little bit of letup and the other team was pushing good but we just held our own and we beat them. I feel like our performance was good; we worked really hard during this week of practice so that showed off what we could do.
Ella: What did you do well tonight and what can you improve on?
Tom: I drove a guy off. The hole on my side of the line was locked down and we were able to run up the left side. I could have driven a bit more, helped out more, get to the second level better, but I definitely opened holes for us to run up through.
Ella: What was the biggest offensive challenge in this game?
Tom: Probably running up the middle. Actually sweeps because they were blitzing a lot and the middle linebackers were blitzing through and we weren’t picking them up fast enough. So probably sweeps were the hardest.
Ella: Who are some of your teammates that stood out to you tonight?
Tom: Mark definitely. Mark’s a stud. He gave them pressure every single play; he definitely let his name be known. Anthony Carias didn’t let the quarterback throw to his side.
Ella: How did the o-line execute on pass protection and run blocking?
Tom: Probably actually one of our better games on that. There was a little bit of miscommunication when there were blitzing linebackers but other than that we really gave Drew time and I felt like he was well protected throughout the game.
Ella: In your opinion, what was the best play you made tonight?
Tom: There was one play, I think I want to say it was a sweep but I forget to which side, but I blew the guy off the ball. I pancaked him and just drove him in the dirt and kept him there.
Ella: After this game, what are y’all going to work on in practice to prepare for Nationals?
Tom: Communication with the o-line on who to pick up. I’d say overall our containment with the ends, our edge, needs to get better. Once we do that I feel like we’re just unstoppable.
Note: In their first game of the NHFA tournament, the #2 ranked Tomball Christian Warriors will face the #3 ranked Georgia Force. This semifinal game will be played at 5 pm on Thursday, November 17th. The game is at Deane Bozeman High School in Panama City, Florida. Check the TCW social media for changes to the time or location and for score updates.