Behind the speed and deception of star running back Devonte Dedmon, Warhill bolstered its potential seeding for the Region I Division 4 playoffs with a 32-19 victory over Tabb at Bailey Field.
Dedmon ran for 281 yards and four touchdowns before completing the game-clinching touchdown pass for the Lions (5-4, 4-4 Bay Rivers). Tabb slipped to 4-5, 4-4 in the district.
Dedmon got things rolling early for Warhill, scoring on his first two touches.
The first, coming after a fumble recovery at Tabb’s 22 by Clayton Osterloh, came on a direct snap. Dedmon shuffled his feet behind the line of scrimmage and then found a gap through the middle, taking the ball into the end zone.
The running back’s second score was more impressive. From his 15-yard line, the junior appeared to be down by tackle after about a 15-yard gain. But he broke free from the defender’s grasp, kept his knee off the ground and rambled for a total of 85 yards, giving the visitors a 12-0 lead.
Tabb’s persistent running attack broke through on its next possession. The Tigers carried the ball for nine of 10 plays, gaining 55 yards. Jake Brown finished the drive, busting up the gut for a 7-yard touchdown, which sliced the lead in half at 12-6.
Tabb evened the score when Brent Hinson scored on a 2-yard rumble, then took a 13-12 lead on Korey Lyzenga’s extra point, which delighted the partisan homecoming crowd.
On Warhill’s opening drive of the second half, the Lions appeared to take a page out of their opponent’s playbook, opting for nine straight runs, while gaining 51 yards in the process. On the last play, Dedmon scored on a 20-yard keeper, good for his third touchdown of the evening, and Warhill reclaimed the lead.
Tabb failed to convert on third-and-10 just as the fourth quarter began, but the punt traveled 51 yards and was downed at the Lions' 2.
With almost 10 minutes remaining, Warhill went into its ball-control offense, running eight consecutive times and bringing the ball to its 48. On the ninth play, Dedmon broke through the middle and found daylight once again, outsprinting the Tiger defenders for a 52-yard score, his fourth of the night. Because of a penalty on Warhill, the Lions actually rushed for 110 yards on the drive.
But the Tigers struck back quickly. Quarterback Dan Schiele ran for 32 yards on the first play after kickoff. Then Hinson ran 30 yards for a score, capping a drive that took only 17 seconds to complete. The Tigers missed the extra point, and the score was 26-19 with 4:30 to go.
Seeking to cap the victory, Warhill went back to its running game for four plays. But the Lions faced a third-and-14 from their 49 with 2:10 left. Dedmon took the snap, faked a run, then lofted a rainbow pass over the middle to a wide-open Seth Mallory, who chugged the rest of the way for a 51-yard TD.
Dedmon eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
WARHILL 32, TABB 19
Warhill: 12, 0, 8, 12 -32
Tabb: 6, 7, 0, 6 - 19
W – D. Dedmon 22 run (kick failed)
W – D. Dedmon 85 run (run failed)
T – Brown 7 run (kick failed)
T – Hinson 2 run (Lyzenga kick)
W – D. Dedmon 20 run (Dedmon run)
W – D. Dedmon 52 run (run failed)
T – Hinson 30 run (kick failed)
W – Mallory 51 pass from D. Dedmon (run failed)Warhill Tabb
First downs; 13, 17
Rushes-yards; 39-307, 49-285
Passing yards; 59, 35
Comp-Att-Int; 2-6-0, 3-11-0
Penalties-yards; 4-20, 6-30
Punts-avg; 3-27, 3-41
Fumbles-lost; 1-1, 1-1