Warriors drop district opener

Southwestern High School sophomore Tanner Wright runs with the ball in the Warriors' 21-13 district loss at the Reservation on Friday.

After falling behind to North Laurel by a 21-13 margin in the early minutes of the third quarter, Southwestern needed just one more score to get back into the ballgame.

Unfortunately, the Warriors could not find a way to punch it into the end zone over the final two quarters, resulting in an eight-point loss to the visiting Jaguars of North Laurel.

With last night's setback at the Reservation, Southwestern fell to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in District 8 play. North Laurel, meanwhile, upped their overall mark to 5-2 and their district record to 2-0.

Southwestern hit pay dirt on their opening drive of the second half of play, as Xavier Streeter ran in from 11 yards out for a touchdown. The conversion failed, keeping North Laurel out front, 14-13, with 9:15 left to play in the third period.

North Laurel answered back quickly, as they scored on their inaugural play of the ensuing drive on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Sizemore to Storm Gambrell. With the successful extra point, the North Laurel widened their lead to 21-13.

The Warriors would not find the end zone for the rest of the night, despite having four drives following the North Laurel score. On those final four drives of the night, the Warriors punted once, had two fumbles, and were stopped on fourth down at the Jaguar six-yard line.

North Laurel came into the ballgame leaning on the running game, but it was the passing attack that led them to victory last night in Somerset. Sizemore finished the game with 252 yards and three touchdowns on 11 completions.

Southwestern looked as if they would get the momentum early, as they returned a Jaguar punt for a touchdown in the game's opening minutes. Unfortunately, the Warriors were hit with a roughing the kicker penalty that would nullify the touchdown.

With new life, North Laurel marched right down the field and scored the game's first touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Sizemore to Gambrell. With the passing score, the Jaguars grabbed a 7-0 advantage with 1:25 left to play in the opening frame over Southwestern.

Midway through the second quarter, Southwestern's Tanner Wright, on only his second carry of the year, sprinted through the North Laurel defense for a 49-yard touchdown run. For Southwestern, Wright made his first appearance of the season after being cleared to play. Wright did not disappoint, as he finished the game with 103 yards and one score on nine carries.

With Wright's big touchdown run and Max Brainard's made kick, Southwestern tied the contest up at 7-7 with 5:13 to go in the second quarter. North Laurel, however, would add a late touchdown to give themselves a seven-point lead at the halftime break.

As the horn sounded to signal halftime, the Jaguars scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Sizemore to Eli Sizemore, who just happened to be standing in the back of the end zone waiting for a tipped ball to land in his hands. With the successful extra point following the touchdown, North Laurel went into the locker room at the intermission with a 14-7 lead over Southwestern.

The Warriors now find themselves 0-1 in district play, but they will have the opportunity to bounce back next week against Whitley County. Southwestern will be at home for the second straight week, as they will host the Whitley County Colonels next Friday evening at the Reservation. The Colonels are 0-1 in district action after a 21-18 loss to Pulaski County last week in Williamsburg.

Follow Michael Childers on Twitter -- @MChilders_22

Recommended for you