Warren County rushes past James Wood

FRONT ROYAL — All the momentum was in James Wood’s favor.

The Colonels were fresh off an overtime win over Skyline last week, their second victory of the season in which they had to fight off adversity and survive a last-second comeback. They had a winning record and already as many wins as all of last season.

The Colonels had designs on a three-game winning streak against winless Warren County but the Wildcats had other plans.

Warren County punched the Colonels in the mouth not once, not twice, but three times in the first half, jumping out to a 21-0 lead, and rolled to a convincing 35-8 thumping.

“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Warren County coach Brian Bush said of the victory. “I’m excited for the kids though. It’s fun to see the hard work that they’ve put in, to finally get that win. To get over that hump, it shows how much hard work pays off.

“Our defense stepped up and our offense played a heck of a game, and the offensive line definitely stepped up tonight. I told them all week that we needed to be physical. They see how hard they worked this week and the amount of fun we had this week, it pays off. When they’re excited to be out here the wins will take care of themselves, we just need to make sure we’re having fun.”

Junior running back Ronnie Dodson was a one-man wrecking crew behind that offensive line. Dodson did most of the damage for the Wildcats rushing 31 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns.

Dodson did have some help. All six of Warren County’s first half possessions reached James Wood territory.

On its first drive, the Wildcats started at their own 20 and seven plays later, all runs, found themselves at the Wood 12. An incomplete pass on fourth down forced the Wildcats to give up the ball but the tone of the game had been set.

The Colonels first three plays netted a total of two yards and a punt, which was a short one and set the Wildcats up in great shape.

After a 10-yard punt gave the Wildcats the ball at the Wood 24. It was again a steady dose, who carried on three of the five plays and got Warren on the board with a two-yard run right up the middle for a 7-0 advantage with 5:17 left in the first quarter.

James Wood (2-2) went three-and-out on its first two possessions but seemed to find the right combination on the third. Still trailing by seven the Colonels took over at their own 36 after the Wildcats turned it over on downs.

Six plays later the Colonels had it down to the Warren 17, but the drive stalled there and they were forced to settle for a 34-yard field goal attempt which was no good.

The last six and a half minutes of the first half was filled with plenty of action and scoring.

Following another short punt the Wildcats took over at the Wood 45 with 6:31 left in the half. Six plays later, Dodson put the cap on another scoring drive with a five-yard run to make it 14-0 with just under five minutes until half.

Wood’s next drive lasted one play, a fumble that the Wildcats recovered at the Colonels’ 35.

Warren added to the lead when freshman quarterback Bryce Post hit Ben Vogt down the far sideline with a 40-yard touchdown strike. It was the first of two touchdown catches for Vogt on the night and gave the Wildcats a commanding 21-0 lead with 3:43 left in the half.

The Colonels started at their 19 with 3:34 left in the half and used 12 plays to score. On fourth-and-12 from the Warren 18, quarterback Mike Zebarth rolled near side and found Jordan Egger in the end zone for a touchdown. Backup quarterback Carson Hoberg hit Jordan Loy in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 21-8 at the half.


Coming out for the second half, the Colonels received the opening kick but a three-and-out forced the Colonels to punt. Zebarth had to go to a knee to field the long snap, killing the ball right at the Colonels’ 11.

It only took three plays for Post to again find Vogt, this time on a six-yard slant to make it 28-8.

The Wildcats closed out the scoring by taking advantage of another Wood turnover, a fumble at the Colonels’ own 16. Six plays later, Dodson plunged in from the 1.

The news only got worse for James Wood and their faithful when leading rusher William Crowder was hurt early in the fourth quarter. After laying on the field for nearly 20 minutes he was taken off on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to the hospital. The extent of his injury was not immediately known.

Warren County outgained Wood 243-99 on the ground.

“We left some plays out on the field, at least it should have been a closer game and that was pretty frustrating,” James Wood coach Ryan Morgan said. “They weren’t mentally focused this week. I want them to treat every opponent like they can rise up and beat us and I don’t think we did that this week. We were a little bit unfocused and I’ve been telling them that for the past several days. We came out and made too many mental mistakes.

“I have to do a much better job getting them ready for next week,” Morgan added. “We’ve played better than this the last two weeks and we can play better than this. We can get better and we should get better. We have to make sure that we’re ready mentally to get better. They just rammed it down our throats, their offensive line got off the ball. I think this is a little bit of reality for them that if they overlook an opponent bad things are going to happen.”

The Colonels return home next Friday to take on Hedgesville (W.Va.).