By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
WARNER – The Wing-T has taken flight at Warner High School.
Installed by coach Chris McMullen two years ago, the Eagles used the deceptive offense and a balanced rushing attack in hammering the Liberty Tigers 58-21 in District A-8 action and the regular season finale at Eagle Field on Friday night.
None of the Eagles’ eight backs – including 6-foot-2 freshman James Collier – had more than 70 yards rushing in powering their way to finish the regular season perfect for the first time since 1998 and the third time in the history of the program.
McMullen compared the Wing-T to option football as his team finished 6-0 in A-8.
“The deception of it makes it so good,” he said. “People don’t see it much anymore and it’s hard to prepare for in a week. If we get a lead, that’s to our advantage.”
Ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll this week, the Eagles had a great advantage with Collier. He scored three times in the second half on runs of 8, 28 and 5 yards en route to 67 yards on seven carries.
“We have good people in this offense. They stay on their blocks,” Collier said. “That’s a lot of guys carrying the ball for us tonight.”
Quarterback Anthony Carney (four carries for 32 yards and one touchdown) Justin Wright (9-70), Clint Kite (7-36, 2 TDs), Kyle Taylor (7-55), Jake Leybas (7-38), Briar Campbell (4-35) and Justin Wright (9-70) were the other ball carriers for the Eagles.
Warner takes its 10-0 record into the playoffs and hosts Yale, the fourth place team out of A-7, in the first round next Friday.
Carney, who also tossed two touchdown passes to Jakob Anderson in the second quarter, loves the Wing-T.
“Our running game has carried us this year,” he said. “Coach McMullen tries to even it out. Nobody cares who gets the touches. We just want to win. We’r excited when we score, but the main thing is we want to get that W.”
The combination of Carney to Anderson helped the Eagles to a 30-9 halftime lead.
Carney’s touchdown passes to Anderson of 15 and 34 yards paced the Eagles as the two teams went to the locker room. Carney completed six of 10 passes for 121 yards in the game.
Liberty (3-3, 4-6) had its moments.
Zach Castle broke open for touchdown runs of 63 and 84 yards in the second half. He finished the game with 128 yards on seven carries, but the Tigers never threatened to overtake Warner.
A one-yard run by Coleton McDonald and a 33-yard field goal by Harley Stone accounted for the Tigers’ other points.
Warner extended its winning streak against Liberty to four games and improved to 6-1 in the series between the two schools.
WARNER 58, LIBERTY 21
Liberty 3 6 6 6—21
Warner 8 22 14 14—58
Warner – Clint Kite 3 run (Jakob Anderson pass), 6:28
Liberty – Harley Stone 33 FG, 0:21.9
Warner – Kite 7 run (pass failed), 11:32
Liberty – Coleton McDonald 1 run (kick failed), 2:41
Warner – Jakob Anderson 15 pass from Andrew Carney (Carney run), 1:53
Warner – Anderson 34 pass from Carney (Anderson pass) 3.1
Warner – Andrew Carney 1 run (Kyle Taylor pass), 9:41
Warner – James Collier 8 run (run failed), 2:38
Liberty – Zach Castle 63 run (run failed), 56.8
Warner – Collier 28 run (run failed), 10:49
Liberty – Castle 84 run (pass failed). 9:33
Warner – Collier 5 run (Collier run), 3:08
First Downs 8 25
Rushes-Yards 22-210 35-337
Passing Yards 69 121
Passing (C-A-I) 2-6-1 6-10-0
Punts-Avg. 1-33.0 2-30.5
Penalties-Yards 8-78 2-22
Rushing: Liberty, Zach Castle 7-128. Warner, Justin Wright 9-70,James Collier 8-67, Kyle Taylor 7-55, Jake Leybas 7-38, Clint Kite 7-36, Briar Campbell 4-35, Andrew Carney 4-32,
Passing: Liberty, Zach Castle 2-6-1—69. Warner, Andrew Carney 6-10-0—121.
Receiving: Liberty, Carter Alwardt 1-38. Warner,Jakob Anderson 2-49.