By Elle Fleenor
A game against Pekin resulted in an emotional time for players and coaches. A tough game against the Musketeers was lost and senior night took place before the game as many thought this would be the last time the team would play at home.
Coach Steve Deaton said, “Regrading the seniors, we have a great group of kids. They showed the coaching staff they weren’t afraid to compete in practices each and every day. A couple of them hadn’t played before, but they came to practice each day and competed. They helped to push some of the younger guys by the examples they set in practices. They played hard, asked questions, made mistakes and got better. They were selfless and are examples for those that have never played–don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Coach Kyle Mullins said that he is very proud of the seniors.
“Kaden Sparkman, Jeff Cannon, Jimmy Neace, and Patrick Lincoln have been great mentors to the underclassmen. Our other seniors are first year players, but have significantly improved and have helped try to further the culture of Warrior Football. No senior will be missed by this program more than Dylan Campbell. He has been a true inspiration to coaches and players and his impact will never be forgotten,” Mullins said.
In the first quarter, both teams scored eight points, but neither scored any in the second. In the third quarter, the Warriors scored one touchdown and Pekin scored 16 points. Neither teams scored in the fourth leaving the final score at 14-24 with Pekin winning.
Deaton said he was disappointed that the team came up short again. “We competed well, just didn’t execute on the opening kick off; where we gave up a touchdown. And early in the 2nd half, we had a punt blocked because we didn’t make a line adjustment call to slide our protection. Those two things essentially gave them 14 points,” he said.
Mullins said, “Our players battled very hard against Pekin Eastern. We were down 4-5 key players due to various injuries, but our players played a tough game. Ultimately, the difference in the game was special teams. We gave up a kick-off return for a touchdown, missed a field goal, and had a punt blocked. This directly led to a difference of 19 points, we lost by 10.”
Sectional will be held at home against Silver Creek on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Come out and support the Warriors as they take on the Dragons.