Warrior second half comeback stuns Red Devils

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By Steve Jarboe

The Nassau West Warriors from Callahan, near Jacksonville, made the two and one half hour drive  paying a visit to Booster Stadium on Friday night Sept. 16.
The Warriors, under Head Coach George Nelson, brought a 1-1 early season record to take on the 1-1 Red Devils. The Warriors have been led this season by a strong running game from their mostly senior squad.
The Red Devil fans were treated to a tremendous first half performance by the Red Devils as they took an 18-0 lead shutting the Warriors running game down on several key series.
But the same Red Devil fans were left scratching their heads as the second half got under way and they watched the 18-point lead slip away to the powerful running game of the Warriors.
The Red Devils scored the first touchdown in the first quarter when Red Devil Brandon Preston picked up a Warrior fumble and raced 85 yards for the Red Devil score with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. The PAT kick was wide left and the Red Devils held a 6-0 lead.
The Red Devil defense held the Warriors on a fourth and one at their 26-yard line but the measurment gave the Warriors a first down. Red Devil David Heinkel sacked the Warrior quarterback three plays later forcing a punt as the first quarter ended. The Red Devils began a drive on their own 11-yard line picking up big chunks of real estate on each play. Heinkel took the ball into the end zone from 10 yards out to give the Red Devils a 12-0 lead. The 2-point try failed and the score remained 12-0.
With time running down in the first half Red Devil Deshard Rollins scored from the 9 yard line to put the Red Devils up 18-0. Another 2-point PAT failed for the Red Devils. The two 2-point tries would later spell defeat for the Red Devils.
The Warriors took the second half kickoff trailing 18-0 and began to drive the length of the field taking the clock down to 3:21 when DJ Jones banged in for a 9-yard touchdown run for the Warriors. The PAT kick made the score 18-7.
Taking the on-side kickoff the Red Devils Tyus Williams made the recovery at the Warriors 48-yard line. After no gain on their first try, Preston took a hand off and again blasted through the Warriors defense for a 48-yard touchdown. Heinkel ran a quarterback keeper for the 2-point PAT to put the Red Devils up 26-7 as the third quarter clock wound down.
The Warriors returned the ensuing kickoff to the Red Devil 29-yard line. The next play went to the one yard line where Tyler Bell dove in for the Warrior Touchdown. The PAT pulled the score to 26-14 as the third quarter ended.
Deante Simmons then took the fourth quarter over for the Warriors. The 5'9”, 210- pound running back pounded the ball into the end zone from 11 yards out through a visibly tired Red Devil defense. The PAT pulled the game to a slim 26-21 Red Devil lead.
Following a Red Devil fumble, Simmons again raced through a tired Red Devil defense giving the Warriors a 27-26 lead. Following a time out the Warriors went for the 2-point try but the Red Devils stopped the try.
The Red Devils had one last try with 5:03 left on the clock as they were forced to go at their own 36-yard line on a fourth down and 5 yards. A Heinkel to Damien Strange failed to pick up the first down and the Warriors took over.
The Red Devils held for three downs and the Warriors elected to kick a 30-yard field goal. The kick was good by Chad Temple giving the Warriors a 30-26 lead with 1:51 left in the game. The Red Devils could not score as time ran out.
The Red Devils fall to 1-2 on the season as they prepare to hit the road for their next five games. The Red Devils travel to Newberry Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.