The Daleville Warhawks (0-2) once again struggled to get on the scoreboard as the Dale County Warriors (1-1) came to town and picked up a 42-0 win on Aug. 28.
Early on, however, the Warhawks were able to match up well with the Warriors before things began to unravel in the second half.
“We were able to move the ball and defensively I thought we played well early on even though the score doesn’t show it,” Daleville coach Desmond Lett said. “We gave up a score right before halftime and had a couple of busted assignments.
“If we do what we’re taught, at worst, it’s a 7-0 game at halftime, but with that being said, we have to be able to punch the ball in and not just move the ball and stall out on offense.”
After picking up a quick first down to open the game, Daleville fumbled to give Dale County a short field, and for the second consecutive week the Warhawks gave up a touchdown on the first offensive play from their opponent.
Dale County running back Tra Marshall exploded for a 43-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors ahead 7-0 with 9:47 remaining in the opening period.
The Warhawks and Warriors then exchanged punts before Dale County got on the board again as Marshall scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:02 left to extend the lead to 14-0.
Daleville and Dale County took turns turning the ball over in the second quarter with the Warhawks losing a fumble and turning the ball over on downs twice, while Daleville defensive back Jeremiah Cunningham picked off a Dale County pass and the Daleville defense also forced a turnover on downs.
Finally, the Warriors got back on the scoreboard with a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ethan Teal to receiver Derrion Crosley with 22 seconds left in the first half. The Warriors converted a two-point attempt to take a 22-0 lead into halftime.
Daleville had the ball just three times in the second half resulting in two punts and a turnover on downs. The Warriors were able to control the clock and put together long scoring drives that resulted in four second half scores.
Teal scored on a 26-yard touchdown run with 9:12 left in the third quarter to put Dale County ahead 28-0 following a missed PAT. Alexander Banks scored on a 21-yard touchdown run with 4:16 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 35-0, and Christian Rodgers scored on a 67-yard touchdown run with 2:03 left to bring the final score to 42-0.
In total, Daleville amassed 105 rushing yards – all on the ground – and gave up 372 yards with 301 of those coming on the ground.
The Warhawk defense did manage to put some pressure on the Warrior quarterbacks, however, and held Dale County to 5-of-12 passing with an interception. Daleville also earned five quarterback hurries.
“I felt like Coach (Craig) Sanders, Coach (James) Logan and Coach (Taylor) Hatcher did a great job scheming up what Dale County was going to throw at us last week,” Lett said. “Our kids came in and they executed that play for the most part. There were some assignments that were blown, like I said, that led to big plays but I felt like we were aggressive getting after the quarterback.
“We didn’t give him a lot of time to just sit back there and pick us apart. We made him make quick decisions and one of those decisions turned into an interception. I felt like the pressure we were able to put on him caused him to throw some balls he didn’t necessarily want to throw.”
The Daleville offense was led by fullback Cam Giles with 12 carries 50 yards, while Speedy Wiley added nine carries for 38 yards and Sincere McKenzie rushed for 19 yards on nine attempts. Quarterback Jordan McDonald rushed for eight yards and went 0-for-5 passing.
On defense, Giles led the way with 10 total tackles and one tackle-for-loss, while McKenzie had six tackles, one tackle-for-loss and a pass breakup. Linebacker Myles Parris chipped in with six tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and a quarterback hurry. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Moore earned four tackles with 2.5 tackles-for-loss and three quarterback hurries.
For Dale County, Teal completed 5-of-12 passing attempts for 71 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while also rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.