PREP FOOTBALL: Warriors punch playoff ticket in 49-0 blowout

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West Point’s Kobe Bowers (11) led the Warriors’ receiving group with his 2 catches, 71 yards and a touchdown in his team’s 49-0 blowout of Douglas Friday night. (Bill Piper for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – If you were wanting any late-season pre-playoff drama, you needed to be somewhere else Friday night, because from start to finish this one was all West Point, with the Warriors winning 49-0. 

The Warrior defense got things started with a quick three-and-out, one of five in the first half. West Point allowed only a single first down before halftime, with Douglas mustering just 43 yards on 30 plays. 

The biggest defensive play, though, belonged to defensive lineman Kenyan Baker. At the end of the first quarter on a third-and-long Douglas tried a halfback screen that Baker sniffed out. With pressure applied to the quarterback he threw an errant pass to the running back, and Baker was there to make the interception. That’s not where this play ended. Baker broke the tackle from the running back and took off 50 yards for every lineman’s dream: a touchdown. 

When asked about the play, Baker had this to say: “I just put myself in the right place and had an opportunity. Once I broke the tackle, I just thought to myself, ‘Run as fast as you can!’”

The Warrior defense wasn’t the only thing on fire. The West Point offense took only four plays to go 64 yards and find the end zone. Running back Kelton Washington was the first to find it on a 12-yard run to give the Warriors an early 7-0 lead. 

Following a handful of three-and-outs and Baker’s pick six, West Point put together a five-play, 72-yard drive with senior quarterback Will Cochran running it in from 3 yards out. 

The onslaught continued after another Douglas three-and-out. Five plays and 70 yards later and West Point put up 6 more after Cochran found fellow senior Kobe Bowers on a 51-yard deep ball. 

West Point came out and pooch kicked the kickoff, which was fumbled by Douglas and recovered by Luke Hammond of the Warriors. With the short field, West Point needed just three plays to move the ball 36 yards and put up its fifth touchdown of the first half, Washington’s second of the night, this time on an 8-yard run, putting the Warriors up 35-0. 

Just when Douglas thought things couldn’t get worse, senior Swiss Army Knife Carter Thornton blocked a punt and West Point went three plays and 18 yards to take a 42-0 lead at the half, with Cochran running for his second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from 4 yards out. 

When West Point received the ball after the break, Thornton thought he’d join the touchdown club for the night returning the second-half kickoff all the way back for 6. Logan Selby was a perfect 7-for-7 on the night on extra points. 

With a running clock and JV time the rest of the second half, West Point turned in its most impressive game of the year with the 49-0 win. 

For the night, Cochran finished with 157 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Washington rushed 7 times for 78 yards and a couple touchdowns. Bowers led the receiving group with his 2 catches, 71 yards and a touchdown. 

Coach Don Farley had one thing to say to his guys after the game, “We’re going to the playoffs!”

The season started with several heartbreaking losses, but the Warriors responded with what is now a three-game winning streak. They will take their hot streak on the road next week to face the undefeated, no. 1 ranked Guntersville Wildcats. 

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