Erwin Warriors Scalped by Tuscola Mountaineers - TribPapers

Erwin Warriors Scalped by Tuscola Mountaineers

Erwin High Quarterback Iggy Welch is hiked the ball during the game against the Tuscola Mountaineers. Photo by Clint Parker.

Leicester – The Erwin Warriors (1-2) came into a non-conference game Friday night against the Tuscola Mountaineers (2-0) hoping to improve their record, but Dez Rodriguez (#3) and the Mountaineers had other plans as the Mountaineers won 33-12.

Erwin got the ball first as Tuscola kicked off and the Warriors returned it to their 30-yard line. It looked as if it was going to be three and out for Erwin, but a completed pass by Senior Iggy Welch (#10) kept the drive alive.

Seven plays later and a penalty against the Warriors would see Welch connect to Hunter Cromer (#21) for a touchdown to put the first points on their board, but the point after attempt (PAT) was no good, leaving the score 6-0 Erwin at the 6:05 mark in the first.

The Warriors’ defense started off by holding the Mountaineers to a three and out, but the punt by Tuscola was short, and, after touching an Erwin player, Tuscola would recover the ball with excellent field position at their 34-yard line and first down, breathing new life into the drive.

The Mountaineers’ running game controlled the ball for the rest of the first quarter and into the second as Dez Rodriguez racked up yards for the Mountaineers’ running game. With Erwin helping with four penalties, including three of which that gave Tuscola first downs, the Mountaineers scored at the 8:32 mark of the second, and a good PAT made it 7-6 for Tuscola.

After Erwin had no luck with its drive, which saw Welch sacked and forced the Warriors to punt to the Tuscola 34, Dez Rodriguez would make a 68-yard run to put the Haywood County team back on the scoreboard. A good PAT and now it was 14-6. With neither team making any additional scores, the score stood through halftime and into the third quarter.

After halftime, Tuscola continued to dominate the game with the help of Rodriguez and Jordyn Butler (#26). Tuscola was the first to get the ball in the second half. They wasted no time in scoring again after six plays that included a huge gain when Butler ran the ball at the 10:13 mark, scored, and a good PAT made it 21-6 Mountaineers.

While Erwin got good field position on the next kick-off, returning it to their 45-yard line from the 16, Cromer helped keep the drive alive with a first down at Tuscola’s 39-yard line. The Warriors would get the ball within 13 yards of the goal, only to fall short on a fourth-and-goal attempt.
Tuscola took over and immediately went to Rodriguez, followed by Butler to move the ball downfield. He had a big 20-yard run to get it to Erwin’s 29, followed by Butler’s run to the two, and then he punched it in for a touchdown. However, the PAT was not good, making the score 27-6 at 3:06.

Erwin’s Milky Ray (#8) had a great return on kick-off, getting all the way to Erwin’s 39-yard line, but a flag brought it back to Erwin’s 33, which was the beginning of a drive that failed at the start of the fourth quarter. Tuscola would gain another touchdown with 7:55 left in the game. Another PAT failed and that left the game at 33-6 Tuscola.

The Warriors would get to the Mountaineers’ 44-yard line, but a flag and an interception would give the ball back to Tuscola. Erwin’s defense stiffened and forced Tuscola to punt. This Erwin drive would culminate with Ty Johnson (#7) catching a touchdown pass from Welch with 2:25 left in the game. However, the two-point conversion would fail, leaving the score 33-12 Mountaineers.

The Warriors tried to make the game not look so lopsided by performing a successful offside kick which they recovered at the 47, but a few plays later, an interception dashed the hopes of any more points for the Warriors as the Mountaineers kneeled out. The game ended 33-12. Next Friday, Erwin (now 1-2) heads to Brevard to play the Blue Devils.