By Eric Shannon
WARNER – Talihina forced the Eagles out of their comfort zone.
Warner quarterback Anthony Carney tried his best to answer, but it wasn’t enough in a 29-8 loss Class A second-round game Friday night at Alumni Field.
With the Golden Tigers stifling Warner’s wing-T run game, Carney threw for 134 yards and one touchdown. The rushing attack, which had almost 500 yards last week, finished with 67 yards Friday.
The Eagles ended their season at 11-1. Talihina advances to the quarterfinals next week.
“We couldn’t get any rhythm running the ball all night,” said Warner coach Chris McMullen. “Then when you’re forced to pass, it just got our offense out of sync.
“But I am extremely proud of our kids. We did things this year that people didn’t think we could do. We won a district championship and were playing when 42 other (Class A) teams were sitting home.”
Getting the Eagles out of sync was the Golden Tigers’ main focus as they routinely stacked up to 10 players near the line of scrimmage, daring Carney to beat them though the air.
Talihina stuck first with a Clark Austin 3-yard touchdown run, capping a 10-play, 67-yard drive with 3:35 left in the opening quarter for a 6-0 lead. The series came after the Eagles drove to the Golden Tigers’ 37 and faltered on a fourth-and-two.
Carney rallied his troops to open the second quarter with his own lengthy drive, a 13-play, 48-yard march that chewed up 7:14 on the clock. It ended with Carney finding Justin Wright off the left flat for a touchdown and a 8-6 Eagles lead with 6:34 in the second quarter, a score that stood up through the end of the half.
Talihina took the lead when backup quarterback Alan Locket took a snap and sprinted 19 yards for a 14-8 lead with 2:35 left in the third quarter.
The Golden Tigers, who had 240 rushing yards, compiled over half of it in the final 12 minutes with 145 yards and two scores to tuck the game away. Bryar Humphreys went 85 yards up the gut of the Warner defense making it 22-8 with 10:57 left in the game and basically sealing at that point.
“We missed some plays there in the fourth quarter, missed some tackles and put ourselves in a hole,” McMullen said. “Give their defense some credit, they forced us to have to pass every down and try to make up some ground and when they know you’re going to pass they just come after you.”
Humphreys and Austin both finished over 100 yards rushing on the night.
TALIHINA 29, WARNER 8
TALIHINA 6 0 8 15–29
WARNER 0 8 0 0–8
THS – Clark Austin 3 run (Run fail) 3:35
WHS – Justin Wright 5 pass from Anthony Carney (Wright run) 6:34
THS – Alan Lockart 19 run (Trevor Crone pass from Lockart) 2:00
THS – Bryar Humphreys 84 run (Austin run) 10:57
THS – Austin 19 run (Austin kick) 6:46
First Downs 10 18
Rushes-Yards 27-67 36-240
Passing CAI 13-25-1 12-23-1
Passing Yards 140 122
Punts – Avg. 4-22 1-30
Penalties Yards 4-42 3-15
Fum – Lost 1-0 1-1
RUSHING –WHS Jake Leybas 5-30, Kyle Taylor 6-19, Brian Campbell 5-9, Clint Kite 2-3, Anthony Carney 8-6, THS – Clark Austin 28-109, Bryar Humphreys 6-102.
PASSING – WHS Anthony Carney 12-24-1-1-134, THS Clark Austin 11-22-1-0-108
RECEIVING – WHS Dakota Tassey 3-42, Jakob Anderson 4-35, Clint Kite 4-42, Briar Campbell 1-22, THS – Trevor Crone 8-62, Christian McMillian 2-39