Warren has a little momentum going when it plays host Athens High in a non-conference football game at Rutter Field in The Plains at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"This week will be a big test for us," said third-year Warren head coach Andy Schob. "Athens was 10-0 and a playoff team last year.
"I look forward to playing Athens as Coach (Ryan) Adams has built a high quality program. The distance between the two schools and communities, the level of opponents, and the facilities Athens now has, makes this a great environment for high school football."
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Warren receivers practice running routes during a night session in August. After two straight home games, the Warriors are slated to play on the road at Athens Friday night.
Last Friday night, the Warriors (1-1) scored 35 unanswered points, 29 in the second half, against visiting Marietta High to earn a 35-7 triumph in the First Annual United Way of Washington County Bowl Game.
"We made some good strides during the Marietta game," Schob said. "We had a great week of practice that translated to the game Friday with assignments and playing excited - and together."
With the victory, its first of the campaign, Warren received a school engraved, traveling trophy.
The Warriors beat the Tigers with a punishing ground game. Three of the royal blue and white players - Jake Scott, Chas Miller, and Austin Kuhn - combined to rush for 221 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown.
Warren quarterback Dylan Leffingwell only completed four of nine passes for 34 yards. But two of the senior standout's throws went for TDs, six yards to Kuhn and six to Scott.
"We took better care of the football, and only started three players both ways to get more players involved and rested," Schob said. "It paid dividends in the second half."
Warren's defense also did its part by forcing Marietta to fumble inside the 10 before the half. Then, the Warriors got a pick-six when Jake Powell returned an Anthony Kimbrough throw 21 yards for a score.
Athens figures to be no patsy for Warren as it defeated the Warriors, 19-14 last year on the royal blue and white's gridiron.
The homefield advantage appears to mean nothing in this series as Warren defeated host Athens 34-28 in overtime in 2010.
"Two years ago we won in overtime and last year Athens beat us as we had a go-ahead touchdown called back with three minutes remaining," Schob said. "These games have been very competitive and exciting."
This season, AHS (1-1) stumbled out of the opening gate when it dropped a 52-34 decision to Gallia Academy (1-1). But last Friday night, the Bulldogs righted the ship with a 62-54 triumph at Watkins Memorial (0-2) in Pataskala.
From the looks of it, Athens can light up the scoreboard with anybody, but its defense also gives up a lot of points.
If Warren can play defense like it did in the second half against Marietta, though, it'll be in good shape at Athens. At his linebacker position, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Miller gave the Tiger offense fits with five rushes and two sacks.
"Athens is running a no-huddle spread offense this year and has some great athletes," Schob said. "Their quarterback (Joe Burrow) ran for over 100 yards and passed for over 300 last week. Their running back (Trae Williams) is quick and also had over 100 yards rushing (103 on 13 carries and two TDs) - and they have several recievers who cause matchup problems. They scored 62 points last week and 54 were by the half."
The Bulldogs led 22-20 after one and 54-27 at the break.
Athens enjoyed a balanced attack with the pass and run as Burrow completed 14 of 27 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns against Watkins Memorial. The sophomore signal caller also rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries and two TDs.
AHS receivers' Skylar Schwarzel, Tyler McIntosh, Ryan Luehrman, and Adam Luehrman combined for 16 receptions for 324 yards and four touchdowns.
"Playing Marietta's spread offense the previous week helps in preparing for Athens," Schob said. "But Athens does some different things to complement their athletes that we will have to adjust how we defend it."