The White County Recreation Department youth football program picked up a pair of Mountain Athletic Conference Super Bowl IV titles last weekend at Chestatee High School.
The youth program's 8U and 10U teams both captured conference championships on Super Bowl Saturday, while the 7U team finished as the runner-up in the age division.
“It was a great day for football,” recreation department director Joe Gailey said. “We had beautiful weather and a great crowd. We are very proud of all three of our teams. We are really excited to have the 8U and 10U teams win a Super Bowl title, and the 7U team played well and really battled. All of team showed great sportsmanship during the day, and we're tickled to death with the way our kids represented White County.”
The Warriors capped off a dominating season with a 34-0 win over Pickens County in the 8U title game. The win put an exclamation point on a perfect season as the Warriors finished with an 8-0 mark. The Warriors not only ran their schedule without a loss, but the team did not allow a single point during the season, outscoring their opponents by a 310-0 margin.
The title is the third straight for this group of players and coaches, who also won the the 6U and 7U titles over the past three years. The team played this season in honor of Brayden Philyaw, a member of the team who passed away during the 2019 season. The team wore Philyaw's No. 20 on one side of their helmets this year and retired his jersey during the opening weekend of the season.
Members of the team are Preston Dove, Kadence Robinson, Bentlee Trammell, Lane Bray, Cash Lowery, Carter Moss, Jaden Stump, Austin Wilford, Carson McDonald, Peyton Trigg, Ashton Elrod, Connor Talley, Brantley Reed, Bentley Hansen, Brayden Barnes, Rylan Hunter, Jackson Sutton, Ryder Rewis, DJ Daniels, Isaac Abernathy, Kiyan Dorsey, Tucker Bentley, Riley Hester, Mason Ferguson, and Xander Dyer.
The Warriors' head coach is Ryan Bray, with Cleve McDonald, Victor Moss, Carlos Lowery, Ryan Elrod, and Grady Robinson serving as assistant coaches.
The 8U cheer squad members are Breanna Baird, Kaci Barrs, Maddie Black, Alayna Cowart, Ella Cowart, Ryleigh Descher, Emma Kate Holcomb, Lilly Kostulakos, Emma Libatore, Legend London, Natalia Mataro, Adalyn Morgan, Brooklyn Moss, Heaven Moss, Hadley Nelson, Olivia Powell, Everley Prather, Kaylee Pressley, Kaishawna Rambert, Elle Reese, Hannah Roberts, Quinn Schmidt, Lily Shadburn, Layla Sosebee, Jozlin Sullens, Kylyn Talley, Kenzley Wheelis, and Abigal Young.
The cheer squad is coached by Lauren Terry, Deanna Schmidt, and Lori Pressley.
In the championship game, the Warriors took grabbed the lead in the opening seconds of the game and never looked back on the way to a 34-0 win.
Lane Bray got the Warriors on the board 13 seconds into the opening quarter, breaking off a long run down the left sideline for a touchdown for a 6-0 lead.
After forcing a punting situation on the Dragons' first possession, the Warriors needed just one play to push the lead to 14-0. Connor Talley found some running on the right side, bounced to the sideline and out the Dragon defense for a 45-yard scoring run. Bray and Bentlee Trammell hooked up on the 2-point conversion for a 14-0 lead with 5:39 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Bray got loose on the left sideline again, sprinting 39 yards for a the score, and then hit Kadence Robinson for the conversion for a 22-0 lead.
The Warriors finished off the scoring in the third quarter, getting a 50-yard run from Bray for a 28-0 lead. Cash Lowery capped off the scoring with a 33-yard run for a 34-0 lead.
The 10U team also put the final touches on an undefeated season with the 13-6 win over Fannin County. The Warriors' win improved the team's mark to 9-0 on the year.
Members of the team are Zayvion Cheeks, Maxx Medley, Christian Dykes, Terrell Russell, Jack Clark, Cooper Gailey, Harley Davis, Jonathan Shipp, Jax Adams, Brinn Robinson, Nathaniel Miller, Branson Loden, Peyton Killian, Jaxon Tuck, John Jarrard, Evan Davis, Ethan Hansard, Nolan Abernathy, Hayden Williams, Thatcher Grier, Brantley Asherbranner, Jackson Forrester, Chance Miller, Avery Allison, and Gage Schuch.
Galen Robinson is the team's head coach, with Adrian Medley, Avery Clark, Jason Williams, Reginald Cantrell, and Ryan Grier serving as assistant coaches.
Members of the 10U cheer squad are Bella Asherbranner, Paisley Duckworth, Scarlett Grier, Alyse Lacono, Marley Milford, Jayme Milford, Jocilyn Pace, Skylar Parks, Makaylen Pearson, Daniell Phibbs, Katelyn Price, and Bailey Smith-Allen. The cheer squad is coached by Cheyenne Parks and Crystal Grier.
In the championship game, the two teams traded possessions in the first quarter. Fannin County drove down to the Warriors' 20-yard line in the second quarter, but the Warriors' came up with a defensive stand to force a turnover on downs and keep the Rebels off the scoreboard. Both teams got bit by the turnover bug in the second quarter as fumbles killed drive for both teams, and the the half ended in a 0-0 deadlock.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Warriors' defense forced another fumble with Nathaniel Miller scooping up the loose ball near the 41-yard line.
On the first play following the turnover, Terrell Russell broke off a 21-yard run down to the 20-yard line. Two plays later on a third and two play from the 12-yard line, Russell started right, broke two tackles and made his way into the end zone for the first score of the game.
Russell added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 4:49 left in the third quarter.
Fannin County came up with their lone score of the game early in the fourth quarter with Reed Holloway scoring on a 2-yard run. White County's Jonathan Shipp came up with an interception on the conversion attempt by the Rebels, keeping the Warriors in the lead at 7-6 with 6:30 left in the game.
On White County's first play after the kickoff, Christian Dykes broke off a long touchdown run, but the scoring play was nullified by a holding penalty.
The Warriors didn't let the mistake hurt them though, as Shipp ripped off a 64-yard run down the sideline for a touchdown. Once Shipp turned the corner on the sweep play, he ran past several Rebel defenders on the way to the end zone.
The Warriors went for a 2-point conversion, but Russell was stopped short of the goal line, keeping the game at 13-6 with 5:55 on the clock.
Fannin County had one last chance to score the tying or go-ahead touchdown, getting into White County territory in the final 90 seconds of the game.
With just over a minute left, Fannin County turned the ball over on downs when the Warriors knocked down a long pass, sealing the win.
The Warriors got into an early 12-0 hole in the first quarter and couldn't recover as Chestatee claimed the 7U title with an 18-7 win.
The Warriors finished the season with a 6-2 record, with both losses coming to the War Eagles, who finished with an 8-0 mark.
The Warriors squad includes a group of players that were a part of the 2019 6U championship team that went 9-1. Members of the team are Cass Thomas, Ace Powell, Brantley Payne, Kyrie Moss, Bentley Bearden, Bryson Lamb, Matthew Garrett, Wyatt Hunter, Jasper Montgomery, Carson Parris, Landon McDaniel, Kaeson Moss, Isaiah Deck, Karter Black, and Landon Davidson.
Brandon Black is the team's head coach, with Chris Mewborn, Thomas Deck, Wade Powell, Levi Thomas, and Bradley Davidson serving as assistant coaches.
Members of the 7U cheerleading squad are Rileigh Bearden, Audrey Bennett, Karmen Blalock, Addison Cantrell, Myla Jade Carter, Kaitley Davidson, Braelynn Erwin, Paisely Fain, Kinsley Farmer, Marley Frankum, Mya Humphries, Sawyer Kennedy, Olivia Latty, Kinsley Loggins, Ava McGraw, Mikalli McMillan, Courtney Morris, Faith Mortero, Sophia Pruitt, and Maddie Terry. The squad is coached by Noel Latty, Ashley Whitlock, and Kristin McGraw.
The War Eagles grabbed the lead in the first half, scoring twice to a take a 12-0 lead late in the second quarter.
The Warriors got the ball back in the final 30 seconds of the first half, and found a way to get into the end zone before halftime.
On the final play of the first half, Bryson Lamb got loose around the right side and broke off a 70-yard touchdown run, and then added the extra point to make it 12-7.
Chestatee stretched the lead back to two scores late in the third quarter with a long touchdown run to make 18-7.
Behind the running of Lamb and Thomas Cass, the Warriors tried to rally in the fourth quarter, driving deep into War Eagle territory. But the scoring threat ended at the 19-yard line when the Warriors turned the ball over on downs with 2:26 left in the game.
Editor's Note: All football team and cheerleader roster information courtesy of the White County Recreation Department.