The Warriors season comes to an end as the Yellow Jackets win 48-35

Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

Rockmart, Georgia- The White County Warriors (7-3) traveled to Rockmart to face the Yellow Jackets (10-1) in the first round of the GHSA AAA State Playoffs. 

In a very fast and hard hitting game , the Warriors didn’t start the way they had planned. To begin the game, the Warriors had a tough time stopping Senior Quarterback Javin Wahtley, as he rushed for 264 yards in the game. On third down of the Yellow Jackets first drive, Wahtley found Sophomore Dennis Sims for a 47 yard touchdown pass to put the Jackets up 7-0. The Warriors failed to pick up a first down on their first drive and punted the ball back to the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets picked up a quick first down and picking up big gains by Junior Keyshaun McCullough. The Warriors were having a tough time catching up to the speed of Rockmart. As soon as the Warriors started making some big defensive plays, Wahtley scored on a 26 yard run to make it 13-0 with 4:30 left in the fist quarter, as the Jackets missed the PAT. On the first play of the Warriors next offensive drive, Senior Quarterback J. Bnen Haynes pass was tipped and intercepted around midfield. The Warriors again were having a tough time stopping the rushing attack of the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets ran the ball on every single play of the drive and scored on a 5 yard rush by Wahtley to make it 20-0. 

The Warriors would start to get the offense going, led by J. Ben Haynes and Darrius Cannon. Huge gain by Cannon got the Warriors inside the Yellow Jackets 20 yard line. Haynes would score on a 15 yard run and make it 20-7 early in the second quarter. The Warriors made a huge stop on third down, but jumped offsides on 4th down to give the Yellow Jackets a first down. The Yellow Jackets would stick to the ground game but the Warriors would make two huge tackles in the backfield to force a punt after some Yellow Jacket penalties. The Warriors would pick up a first down, on third down, but would get called back because of an offensive pass interference and be forced to punt the ball back to the Yellow Jackets. The Warriors were still having a tough time stopping Wahtley, as he scored again on a 29 yard touchdown rush to make it 27-7. The Warriors picked up a first down on 4th and 1 with 1:20 left in the second quarter. Haynes found Cannon on a 27 yard touchdown pass to make it 27-14 with 1:05 left in the 2nd quarter. The Warriors defense would hold strong and hold the Yellow Jackets to 0 points to close the half.

To start the second half, the Warriors would get a huge kickoff return by Cannon to give the Warriors great starting field position. The Warriors would get the offense going with small gains rushing the ball and some play action passes to get deep into Yellow Jacket territory. The Warriors would cut the lead to 6 with a 1-yard rush by Silas Mulligan and make it 27-21. On the kickoff, Wahtley would return the kickoff 80 yards for the score and extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 34-21. The Warriors would quickly answer on a great offensive drive led by Mulligan as he would score his second touchdown to cut the led again to a one score game. The Warriors would still not be able to slow down Whatley as he would pick up a 20+ yard gain again and put the Yellow Jackets into Warrior territory. Whatley would find Sims for another touchdown extending the lead 41-27. Both Sims touchdown catches were played very well defensively by Junior Bryson Cronic, as both passes were tipped by him but caught by Sims. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the Warriors were gaining momentum on the offensive side of the ball, running the ball very well but fumbled around the 30 yard line and was recovered by the Yellow Jackets. 

The Warriors were playing very well defensively until Whatley ran outside, where he would pick up a lot of extra yards. The Yellow Jackets would quickly score again on a 8 yard rush by Jojo Haynes to extend the lead again 48-28. The Warriors would start to throw the ball more and pick up some quick first downs. J. Ben Haynes would find Reece Dockery for a 13 yard TD pass to make it 48-35 with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter. The Warriors would get a key stop to get the ball back to the offense. The Warriors would throw two deep passes and the Yellow Jackets would get called for pass interference both times. The Warriors would go for it on fourth down with 3 minutes left but fail to pick up the first down. The Yellow Jackets would run the clock out and go onto win 48-35 as the Warriors season comes to and end. 

White Co. shuts out West Hall in homecoming game

Sports, Team FYN Sports, White Co. Football

The White Co. Warriors (5-2, 1-2 Region 7-3A) defeated the West Hall Spartans (2-5, 0-3 Region 7-3A) 35-0 in their homecoming game on Friday night. Junior Silas Mulligan ran for three touchdowns, and sophomore Darius Cannon had two interceptions to help the team dominate both sides of the ball.

Junior Zion McMullen celebrating the first White Co. touchdown of the night, which came on his 3-yard run.

The Spartans received the ball to start the game, but neither team scored on their first possession. Junior Zion McMullen opened the scoring with a big run that set up his 3-yard rushing touchdown to give White Co. a 7-0 lead. After getting the ball back from West Hall, the Warriors lost a fumble on a high snap that gave the Spartans excellent field position. Despite that, junior Bryson Cronic made a huge interception and returned it to the West Hall 30-yard line. This set up Mulligan’s first touchdown of the night, which came from 12 yards out.

To open the 2nd quarter, Cannon ended the Spartans’ possession early with an interception. Unfortunately, that drive was cut short by another fumble from White Co. After another interception by Cannon a few possessions later, neither team was able to move the ball well until late in the first half. After a 36- yard pass from senior Riley Stancil to fellow senior Cooper Turner, Mulligan ran in the touchdown to give the Warriors a 21-0 lead at halftime.

Junior Bryson Cronic returning his interception to the West Hall 30-yard line.

White Co. received the ball to open the second half. They weren’t able to score on the opening possession, but they put together two scoring drives on the following possessions. Mulligan’s 3rd touchdown of the night came on a 38-yard run halfway through the 3rd quarter. After forcing another 3 and out, Stancil had two big runs that set up his 5-yard touchdown run that increased their lead to 35-0. After getting another stop, the Warriors were able to run out the clock and seal the win.

The next White Co. game will be in two weeks when they host the Lumpkin Co. Indians on November 6th.

White Co. falls to North Hall in overtime

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The White Co. Warriors (4-2, 0-2 Region 7-3A) fell to the North Hall Trojans (3-3, 2-0 Region 7-3A) 34-31 in overtime at White Co. high school. The Warriors were led by sophomore Darius Cannon, who had three receiving touchdowns and well over 200 receiving yards on the night.

Sophomore Darius Cannon catching his first of three touchdowns on the night for the Warriors.

The Trojans received the ball to open the game but couldn’t get things started on the scoreboard. It was White Co. who struck first on a 29-yard field goal by senior Andrew Pierce to give the Warriors the lead halfway through the first quarter. White Co. was able to get another stop on the next possession, and then score on a 41-yard touchdown to Cannon on 3rd and 25. However, the Trojans responded with a big play of their own as they scored on a 64-yard screen pass.

White Co. held onto a 10-7 lead until North Hall scored on a 10-yard rushing touchdown halfway through the second quarter. The Warriors were able to respond with a solid drive. On 4th and 11, senior quarterback Riley Stancil found Cannon for a 35-yard gain that set up a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Stancil. The Trojans moved the ball down the field quickly on the ensuing possession to set up a 44-yard field goal that tied the game at 17 heading into halftime.

The Warriors received the ball to open the second half but quickly went three-and-out. North Hall used their run-heavy offense to take a huge chunk of time off of the clock on the next drive. They scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown with less than three minutes remaining in the quarter.

Senior Riley Stancil running right through two defenders for the touchdown for the Warriors.

On the next Warriors’ possession, they faked a punt but couldn’t convert. However, the Trojans couldn’t capitalize on the favorable field position, as they missed a 53-yard field goal. White Co. quickly got momentum back on their side with a 73-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Cannon to tie the game at 24. The Trojans once again slowly drove down the field and set up an 8-yard touchdown to give them the lead with just over four minutes in the game. Cannon once again came up big for the Warriors. On the first play from scrimmage, he caught a pass in the middle of the field, bounced to the outside, and ran 77 yards for the touchdown to tie the game less than 20 seconds later. Both teams had another possession to take the lead, but neither was able to capitalize.

In overtime, the Warriors were stopped just short of the line on 4th down. The Trojans got the ball down to the goal line on their possession, but White Co. kept making stops. North Hall eventually chipped in the 18-yard field goal to win the game 34-31.

The Warriors have another home game next week as they host West Hall at 7:30 p.m.

 

White Co. falls to Dawson Co. to open region play

Team FYN Sports, White Co. Football

The Dawson Co. Tigers (2-3, 1-0 Region 7-3A) defeated the White Co. Warriors (4-1, 0-1 Region 7-3A) 42-35 on Friday night in Dawsonville. Despite the constant rain throughout the game, neither team struggled to make big plays.

Senior J Ben Haynes scrambling out of the pocket.

Backup quarterback Riley Stancil came into in the game in the middle of the third quarter and ran for two touchdowns for the Warriors. Sophomore Darius Cannon also made a number of big plays for White Co., including a 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Both teams got off to slow starts to the game. Dawson Co. received the first possession, but the teams traded a pair of 3 and outs before a bad punt by White Co. gave the Tigers excellent starting field position. They capitalized on it quickly as Holtzclaw found Lane for a 34-yard touchdown to give Dawson Co. the first points of the game late in the first quarter. The teams traded 3 and outs again before senior J Ben Haynes found his receiver for a huge 48-yard gain. However, the Warriors couldn’t move the ball into the endzone and faked a field goal attempt that gave the ball back to Dawson Co.

The Tigers reversed the field quickly on a 74-yard run by Isaiah Grindle. Shortly after, Holtzclaw found junior Conley Dyer for a 21-yard touchdown to extend their lead early in the second quarter. White Co. found life on an 80-yard kick return by Cannon to start the drive in the redzone. However, the Warriors again couldn’t finish the drive with a touchdown as junior Braedon Hubbard intercepted a 4th down pass to get the ball back for the Tigers. Junior Riley Turner got the ball right back for the Warriors by intercepting a pass on the next drive. Cannon used the interception to score a 64-yard touchdown to get the Warriors on the board late in the first half. Dawson Co. was able to strike back quickly on a 63-yard touchdown to Sonnichsen less than a minute later. White Co. finally found life in their offense and continued that momentum. Cannon had another big play on a 32-yard reception that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Haynes that made the halftime score 21-14 in favor of the Tigers.

White Co. picked up right where they left off to start the second half. Senior Cooper Turner had a 38-yard reception that set up a 33-yard touchdown run by junior Silas Mulligan. The Warrior defense built off the touchdown as senior Jesse Moose intercepted a pass to get White Co. the ball back. With Haynes going down on the ensuing drive, Stancil stepped in and delivered the Warriors their first lead of the game on a 12-yard touchdown run. Dawson Co. fought back on the next drive, as Holtzclaw got the ball to his playmakers before eventually finding Lane for his second touchdown of the game. The Tigers’ defense stepped up this time as they set their offense up with great field position after a fake punt by White Co. Holtzclaw found Sonnichsen quickly for a 42-yard touchdown to get Dawson Co. the lead back late in the 3rd quarter.

Sophomore Darius Cannon after making a big play for the Warriors.

Mulligan started off the next Warriors’ drive with a 28-yard run to swing the momentum back to the Warriors. Stancil built off of the big play with a 19-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 35 early in the fourth quarter. Grindle returned the kickoff to midfield, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on the field position. They attempted a fake punt of their own, but a fumble gave White Co. excellent field position for their next drive. Mulligan powered his way through the Tigers’ defense to get his team down to the goal line. However, Dawson Co. was able to recover a fumble on the 3-yard line to swing the momentum back in their favor. The Tigers struggled to move the ball to begin the drive. Holtzclaw made two huge throws on third down. The first was a 17-yard pass to Sonnichsen to get his team some breathing room. The next was a pass to sophomore Jaden Gibson that turned into a 77-yard touchdown for the Tigers to give them the 42-35 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game. White Co. reached deep into their back of tricks on the next drive. A double reverse set up a long run by Cannon to get White Co. past midfield. The Tiger defense stepped up one last time. After a sack on third down, Gibson sealed the game with an interception to get Dawson Co. possession of the ball and the victory.

White Co. plays next Friday as they host North Hall high school at 7:30 p.m.

White County Warriors End Football Season in Defeat

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The White County Warriors end their season with a 35-6 loss at home against the Blessed Trinity Titans.

White County playing well early.

J. Ben Haynes in the pocket.

The White County Warriors started the game hot against their region rivals. They were playing with a bunch of heart early in the game on both sides of the ball. After turning the ball over on downs, the White County defense stepped up and forced a 3 & out. Later on, Andrew Pierce kicked a 25 yard field goal to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead early in the 1st quarter.

However, Blessed Trinity is one of the best teams in the state for a reason. They immediately fired back with a 61 yard rushing touchdown to retake the lead. The 1st quarter would end with the Titans leading 7-3. The second quarter was very close as well. The Titans and Warriors played very close, as neither team was willing to give an inch. The Titans drove down field on a long drive that resulted in a two yard rushing touchdown.

For the Warriors, J. Ben Haynes was making plays on his feet and through the air. Meanwhile, Cooper Turner and Will Sampson both gained significant yards with a couple of catches each and Zion McMullen and Riley Stancil were also both running the ball well. However, the Warriors could not convert their effort to touchdowns, as they had to settle for another field goal from Pierce as the 1st half ended with White County losing 14-6.

The Titans showed why they were the defending state champions in the second half.

Cooper Turner comes up with the ball after diving for a catch.

Blessed Trinity recuperated, and they came out of the locker room on fire. They didn’t take long to once again rush in for another touchdown. Meanwhile on defense, they began to put Haynes under significant pressure, causing the Warrior offense to struggle. The only player who was able to continuously keep the Titans on edge was Cooper Turner. Turner made a couple of big catches in the second half, and came close a couple of times to breaking loose and scoring.

Blessed Trinity would score two more times as the game winded down, winning the game 35-6. However, the Warriors should not be disappointed in the loss. They played with a lot of heart against a team has won the state championship two years in a row.

For the Warriors, the season is officially over.

White County will finish their season 5-5. After only winning three games last season, many people around the county were somewhat skeptical coming into the season. However, the Warriors consistently found ways to keep fighting and played even the toughest teams close. They had the win against Pickens County that will not be forgotten for years to come, while also picking up wins over key rivals Lumpkin and North Hall. With the GHSA reclassifying regions starting in 2020, it will be interesting to see how it affects the Warriors for years to come.

For more updates on the White County Warriors, follow Team FYN Sports on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week – J. Ben Haynes, #8

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Tonight was the J. Ben Haynes Show; it was spectacular to witness.

Team FYN Sports is excited to announce it’s Player of the Week for the White County Warriors – QB J. Ben Haynes. Haynes led the Warriors to a huge victory over the rival North Hall Trojans.

Haynes was undoubtedly the best player on the field tonight. He was throwing the ball down the middle of the field with pinpoint perfection, including a key 45 yard passing TD. Most of his incompletions were through no fault of his own due to receivers dropping multiple passes. But what was most impressive was his rushing. Last season, Haynes would very rarely run the ball. This season, he has scored rushing touchdowns in all four games so far, including 3 tonight. Every time he was under pressure, he found a way to gain yards and keep the drives alive.

Congratulations to J. Ben for being selected as the Team FYN Sports player of the week for the White County Warriors for the 2nd time this year!

Warriors Win a Thriller Against Their Biggest Rival

Sports, Team FYN Sports

In another chapter in this storied rivalry, White County defeats the North Hall Trojans 34-31.

Nix Burkett

After White County’s win last week, it would be easy to think that their win over Pickens County would be their most entertaining victory this season. One week later, and now there’s another win in that argument.

Cory Ezzard

In the first half of the game, both teams were evenly matched. White County scored first midway through the 1st quarter, with junior QB J. Ben Haynes scoring a 1 YD rushing touchdown. On the next drive, North Hall replied with their own goal line TD. Early in the 2nd quarter, Haynes once again scored a short rushing TD. Meanwhile, North Hall began to struggle for a couple of drives. White County for a short moment in time was able to stop the Trojan rushing attack. Players like Nix Burkett and Cory Ezzard were key in stopping the run all throughout the game.

North Hall would fumble a punt return, giving White County the ball in the redzone, and Andrew Pierce would kick a field goal to extend the lead. Afterwards, North Hall quickly gained momentum. Their RB J.T. Fair scored a 64-rushing TD immediately after the White County field goal. Warrior return man Silas Mulligan would fumble the kick return, giving North Hall the ball back. They would kick a field goal late in the 2nd quarter, and the game would go to half time tied at 17.

Early in the 2nd Half, the Warriors began to fall apart.

After another field goal from Pierce, North Hall took control. They would score a TD midway through the 3rd quarter to take the lead for the first time all night. Afterwards, it seemed as if the wheels were coming off for the Warriors. Receivers struggled to catch the ball, Haynes was under consistent pressure, and nobody on the White County Defense could make a stop. After North Hall blocked a punt, they brought the ball to the 2 YD line before fumbling the ball to White County. However, Haynes would throw an INT that would give the Trojans the ball right back, and they would score early in the 4th quarter to gain a 31-20 lead.

Just when it seemed the Warriors were done, they fired back.

Cooper Turner after his receiving TD

On the next offensive drive, the Warriors drove downfield with ease. Haynes would connect with Cooper Turner for a 45 yard passing TD. The score was 27-31, but could the Warriors stop the Trojan rushing attack?

J. Ben Haynes after scoring the final TD of the game.

Yes, yes they could. In the most important defensive stand of the game, the Warriors prevented a first down, and regained possession of the ball with less than 8 minutes remaining. Haynes would lead the team down field. All night long, the Warrior offense was in the palm in his hands. Whether he was throwing or rushing, he was near unstoppable. On this drive, he led the team 70 yards downfield, before finally scoring on a 7 yard rushing TD, giving the Warriors the lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Pierce kicked an onside kick. Zion McMullen would recover, and the crowd would erupt with a joy. The Warriors had defeated their biggest rival, and came from behind to do it.

Next up: Region Play.

The Warriors may be 3-1, but now the real season starts. Whether or not they make the playoffs will depend on their record against the teams in their region (AAAA Region 7.) Next week, they travel on the road to play against one of the greatest teams in the entire state of Georgia, the Marist War Eagles. The Warriors have yet to defeat Marist since they became members of the same region, and it will be another tough game for them next week.

Can the Warriors achieve the upset? To stay up to date with White County Football, follow Team FYN Sports on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Zion McMullen after his onside kick recovery

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week – Zion McMullen #1

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Tonight, the number 1 was more than just a jersey number.

Team FYN Sports is excited to announce the first Player of the Week for the White County Warriors – Running back and return specialist Zion McMullen. Zion made his first start tonight at the varsity level, and he did not disappoint.

Zion scored three times against Lumpkin County tonight. He was a constant force to be reckon with, and the Indians’ defense had no answers. Considering the fact that he split his RB duties with multiple players, that makes his performance even more impressive.

Congratulations to Zion for being selected as the Team FYN Sports player of the week for the White County Warriors!

White County Dominates in Season Opener

Sports, Team FYN Sports

For the third year in a row, the Warriors open up their season with a win over Lumpkin County.

Tonight is a great night to be a fan of the White County Warriors. The Warriors defeated their rivals, The Lumpkin County Indians, in a blowout by the score of 49-6.

There was never a moment of doubt that it would be a White County victory. Lumpkin had the ball first, and in what would be a recurring theme for both teams, QB Tucker Kirk would fumble the ball a couple plays in, and White County junior Heaven Gholston recovered. Zion McMullen would score his first of three touchdowns on the drive, giving the Warriors the lead.

Two weeks ago, the Warriors struggled in a scrimmage against Stephens County. Tonight, those struggles were in the rear-view mirror.

Throughout the game, the White County offense was too much for the Indians to handle. QB J. Ben Haynes had two rushing touchdowns to add on to Zion’s three touchdowns. One reason for this was the much improved offensive line. There were very few moments throughout the game in which Haynes was under pressure. His passing was much improved, and Warrior fans got to see his talent on full display.

White County’s Riley Stancil in the end zone after scoring his first touchdown at the varsity level.

Also, White County’s defense completely shut down Lumpkin County’s rushing attack. The defense had multiple tackles for loss throughout the night, along with a couple of forced fumbles. Coming into the season, lots of questions were being asked about the defense. Many of our best players from last year’s defense graduated, and many fans were nervous about what to expect from the defense. Tonight, they were able to completely shut down Lumpkin’s biggest strength, leaving them reeling all game long.

At the end of the first half, White County had a 31-0 lead. Zion would score his final touchdown on the first drive of the half, but the suffering wasn’t over for Lumpkin. On their next offensive, a high snap would result in the Warriors scoring a safety, as they extended their lead to 40-0. At this point, it was smart for Coach Cokely to put in his 2nd string players. They would continue to torture the Lumpkin County defense throughout the 2nd half, including backup QB Riley Stancil scored his first ever touchdown at the varsity level late in the 4th quarter.

There is still room to improve for the Warriors.

There are some slight future concerns for White County. Just like last season, the passing defense left a lot to be desired. Lumpkin County is not historically known as a team to pass the ball for lots of yards every game. However, there was multiple occasions where they gained ten or more yards on pass plays, a couple of those being a third down. As a matter of fact, the one touchdown that Lumpkin scored was through the air, attacking White County’s biggest defensive weakness. A team that specializes in passing the ball could cause real concerns for the Warriors if they don’t fix these issues.  Also, the Warriors had an abundance of penalties called against them, many of them holding calls.

White County coaches, including third year head coach Tim Cokely (Right)

The Warriors are now 1-0 on the season, and they play against another rival next week. They will be on the road to play against the Habersham Central Raiders. Even though White County dominated tonight, they will need to continue to improve if they want to have the same success throughout the season.

Pre-season football interview with White County Warriors Head Coach Tim Cokely

Sports, Team FYN Sports, White County High School

The White County Warriors lost around twenty seniors in last year’s graduating class, but the team is working hard to be better than ever.

Team FYN Sports traveled to Cleveland, Georgia today to sit down with Warriors Head Coach Tim Cokely, and he’s confident in the direction the team is heading.

“We feel good about our team,” said Cokely. “I think we’re finally better, we’re finally competitive in all three phases, and we are expecting great things this year.”

This season will be Coach Cokely’s third in the role of head coach. In the interview, BKP asked Coach Cokely about the status of the team after three years under his leadership.

“I think offensively we’re there,” said Cokely. “We’ve been running the same thing since I got here. We have some guys now coming through the program who have some familiarity.”

Watch the full interview with Coach Cokely (and featuring the family dog, Piper!) below, only on Team FYN Sports!

https://youtu.be/byKfSahjx44

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