- Gainesville, FL. Written by Kevin Smalls
This Friday night football matchup featured two small private schools from the North Florida area. Both teams had about 20 or less players on the roster, but the team with the least amount of players played with the same energy the entire game.
After a slow start for both teams, the Aucilla Warriors ran through the St Francis Catholic Wolves to secure a conference win on the road. The Warriors move to 3-0 on the season after defeating the Wolves.
The game started off rough as both teams went for quick four-and-outs on their first possessions.
On the Warriors second possession, Wolves sophomore WR/DB Omarian Littles intercepted the Warriors long pass attempt.
The Wolves next possession resulted in an interception by Warriors junior Jared Grant.
“We didn’t play well coming out,” Warriors head coach Colby Roberts said. “I credit St. Francis for their game plan."
Junior ATH/DB Brady Browning gave the spark the Warriors needed towards the end of the first quarter. Once the Warriors running game got going, the Wolves didn’t have enough power to take the quick and strong runners, down.
“Ground and pound is what we do,” said Browning.
After Browning’s 35-yard run put them on the 1-yard line, junior DL/RB Jared Grant would put the Warriors on the scoreboard 6-0.
The same script was written for the next Warriors offensive possession.
Browning ran for major yards to the goal line. This time sophomore LB/QB Tag Williams ran in for the touchdown. Grant would complete the two-point conversion, making it 14-0 at the half.
That would be the story-line for most of the game---Grant and Browning using their feet to get down the field and put points on the board for the Warriors.
The Wolves came out the halftime break with the momentum. Sophomore Levi West ran back-to-back-back plays running hard and relentlessly to put the Wolves good field position.
Wolves senior quarterback Tyler Stone connected with sophomore WR/DB Omarian Littles to give the Wolves it first touchdown of the game, making the score 14-7.
The Wolves did not make it easy for the Warriors in any way. Littles was all over the field for the St. Francis, defensively and offensively. He finished the game with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Wolves were just not able to slow down and bring the powerful and electrifying runners of the Warriors. They also were not able to connect on many pass attempts.
Browning and Grant did not stop putting their head down and pounding the ball down the field for at least five-plus yards, a carry.
As the Warriors offense continued to dominate, the defense also picked up. The Warriors’ defense only allowed one more touchdown the entire game, final score being 33-14.
What’s even more impressive is that 70 percent of the Warriors played both sides of the ball, but you couldn’t really tell because they were so well-conditioned.
When Grant was asked about his standout play after the game, he said, “the line blocked pretty dang good.” It was a pretty humble response from the most valuable player of the game.
The Wolves will travel to Quincy next week to play Munroe at 7:30pm. The Warriors will travel to Georgia next week to take on Georgia Christian at 7:30 pm.
Player of the Game: DL/RB Jared Grant, 3 Touchdowns and over 100+ rushing yards, 1 INT.