The Warriors came out on top in a “must-win” scenario against Chestatee on a cold and wet Friday night, 49-20. White County outlasted Christian Charles, one of the state’s leading rushers and in all-purpose yardage. It took a huge second half by J Ben Haynes, Kurtis Havlen and the Warriors defense after trailing 20-7 at the break.
Haynes threw for a TD and ran for two more, while Havlen rushed for three touchdowns and Jay Lepkoske added one. White County (3-6; 2-4) had trouble going in the first half, trailing 20-7 at the break and allowing Charles to run for two TDs and throw for another. The second half was a different story.
The visiting War Ealgles (1-8; 0-5) got off to a rapid start with a pair of rushing scores by Charles, the first from two yards out and the second from 33. He did have a potential third one in between, but fumbled at the one yard line to hand it back to White County.
The Warriors found some life on a 4th down conversion from the 34 yard line in the second, when Haynes found a streaking Cody Versluis, who took it in for the score. That cut the deficit to 14-7 at the time.
The War Eagles got the ball back with about a minute to go in the half, and Charles ran for some and threw for the rest, finding Seth Pressley for a 26-yard TD to go up 20-7 after the failed extra point.
The Warriors bounced back immediately to open the second half. Haynes found room and took off for a 69-yard TD to cut it to 20-14. After a quick interception by Versluis, Havlen then scored from 38 yards out to give the Warriors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Havlen scored again two minutes later on a 25-yard run, and White County entered the fourth up 28-20. Haynes’ second rushing score came within the first two minutes of the fourth, as he found the end zone from 15 yards out to push the Warriors up 35-20.
The scoring continued with a Lepkoske 7-yard TD run, while Havlen sealed the deal with late 8-yard TD.
White County closes the 2018 regular season against state powerhouse and #1-ranked Blessed Trinity on the road next week. The Warriors have to win to have a shot, or need Denmark to lose out. Chestatee travels to West Hall in the finale.