VINCENT - Warren has two football scrimmages in the book, and one to play before facing the Parkersburg Big Reds in its 2013 season opener at Marietta College's Don Drumm Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31.
The Warriors are scheduled to cap preseason gridiron action at Morgan in McConnelsville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Already this month, the royal blue and white has squared off in exhibitions against Fort Frye and most recently visiting Point Pleasant last Saturday night.
"Scrimmage went well (against Point Pleasant)," said fourth-year head coach Andy Schob. "We made many improvements that we needed to make because of the caliber of team Point Pleasant is. The level of play from the scrimmage against Fort Frye to this scrimmage was eye-opening for many of our players."
Photo courtesy of Karen Henthorn
Warren’s Jake Scott (left) tries to break a tackle for the Warriors in a scrimmage against Point Pleasant Saturday. Tyler Welch (59) looks for somebody to block.
Point Pleasant, the largest school in Mason County, W.Va., was a Class AA runner-up two years ago before moving to Triple-A, going 8-2, and making playoffs last year. The Big Blacks have lofty goals for this upcoming fall campaign.
Warren finished last season 4-6, but has most of its line back from 2012.
"We are not a team loaded with individual talent," Schob said. "Our team will have to battle and fight for everything we do this year, and Point Pleasant allowed us to understand and elevate our play to the level we need to be successful."
Point Pleasant was the more physical team at the start of Saturday's scrimmage - and it got the Warriors' attention. "They (Big Blacks) dominated the scrimmage early," Schob said. "What was very encouraging was the way our kids responded, as they began to understand what level they need to play."
After giving up a some early touchdowns (one in each of the four, 10-play sessions), and struggling to advance the ball on offense, Warren adjusted and enjoyed more success in the second half of the scrimmage.
Keeping score, the Warrior varsity finished with four TDs to the Big Blacks' three.
Junior quarterback Andrew Henthorn threw a 20-yard scoring strike to fellow junior Cole Wigal, and senior signal caller Austin Klintworth rushed for two touchdowns, from outside 40 yards. Both Henthorn and Klintworth are battling for the starting role at QB against the Big Reds.
Defensively, Warren caused four Point Pleasant turnovers - three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Gunnar Smith, Ryan Potter, and Jake Scott each had one pick.
The Warrior line was also credited with eight sacks.
Warren's junior varsity squad continued the momentum into its session and outscored Point 4-0. Andy Farnsworth and Bryce Gandee each had a rushing TD, while Michael Smith caught a pass from Gandee for a score. Collin Welch added a pick-6 on defense.
"Point Pleasant has a very good, talented, and physical team," Schob said.
"They are better than we are right now, but this allowed us to make the strides that we did during the scrimmage and in the way we need to play on every play and every day."