The opening part of the Warner Robins Demons schedule has been brutal, having already played Northside, Peach County and Houston County, and Friday night’s matchup with West Laurens was not much easier.
But the Demons found a way to earn a win, getting just enough points to outlast West Laurens 10-6.
Warner Robins gave up only 150 yards of offense and got enough big plays from quarterback Dalton Hedden to get the win, which was Mike Chastain’s first as a head coach.
Three who mattered
Hedden: The junior quarterback passed for 145 yards and ran for another 60 and came up with big plays in the second half to lead his team to the win. He connected with Jaydon Norman on a perfectly thrown 40-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter to give the Demons a 10-0 lead, and Hedden led a drive at the end of the game that kept the ball out of West Laurens hands.
Norman: The junior wide receiver had only one reception, but it was a huge play for a touchdown. Norman beat the defense off the line and hauled in a perfect pass from Hedden.
Darius Bradford: The senior running back led West Laurens with 69 hard earned runs and scored the only Raiders touchdown on a 6-yard run.
After West Laurens scored its touchdown, it threatened to get the ball right back. But on a third-and-8 play, Hedden made his biggest throw of the game, finding freshman Marcayll Jones for a 28-yard completion. After that, the Demons were able to keep the ball for the final four minutes of the game with three straight first downs.
Taking advantage: West Laurens struggled to move the ball the entire game, but after a botched punt attempt by Warner Robins, the Raiders were able to score. After AJ Mathis found Ben Deal for a 24-yard gain, Bradford scored from the 6, giving the Raiders life.
They said it
Chastain on getting the first win out of the way: “It just feels awesome, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity. These kids have battled the entire year, and I am just so proud about the fight they have in them. We are just thankful to get that first one out of the way.”
Chastain on the play of Hedden: “We have been trying to get him comfortable, and he showed us that he can make plays. We just want him to play hard and run the ball if they give us that, and he did that in this game. I am just so proud of him.”
Chastain on holding the ball for the last five minutes: “It feels great to be able to do that. We have some big hosses up front that just love it, and they opened holes for our backs all night long.”
Chastain on the defensive effort: “West Laurens is a very good football team, and we almost shut them out so that says a lot about the effort they gave. I felt comfortable with them on the field, but we still have to find a way to put a few more points on the board.”
West Laurens plays at Howard on Friday, while Warner Robins travels to Coffee.