High School Sports

Warner Robins uses stifling defense to remain undefeated under new head coach

Warner Robins Demons still undefeated in week 4 of high school football

The Warner Robins Demons remained undefeated in week 4 of the 2019 high school football season. The Demons won 37-14 over the Baldwin Braves Sept. 13, 2019. Head coach Marquis Westbrook reacts to the win.
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The Warner Robins Demons remained undefeated in week 4 of the 2019 high school football season. The Demons won 37-14 over the Baldwin Braves Sept. 13, 2019. Head coach Marquis Westbrook reacts to the win.

The Warner Robins Demons have built a reputation of having an explosive offense over the last few seasons but against the Baldwin Braves it was the defense that led them to a 37-14 victory.

The offense didn’t reach the end zone until midway through the second quarter when quarterback Jalen Addie found receiver Armon Porter for the score.

But the Demons defense would use multiple turnovers throughout the game to give the offense the chance to put up easy scores.

“We’ve got a lot of guys over there who have got plenty of playing experience,” Warner Robins head coach Marquis Westbrook said. “We expect them to be a little bit further than the offense.”

Westbrook was the team’s defensive coordinator for three seasons before taking over as the head coach after Mike Chastain left for the Jones County head coaching position.

In his first season as head coach, Westbrook has seen his defensive unit turn into one capable of leading the team to wins — not always the case a season ago as the offense was routinely counted on to come away with victories in high scoring games.

Here are some of Telegraph correspondent Donn Kester's favorite photos from the Warner Robins-Baldwin football game Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Warner Robins won 37-14.

After giving up nearly 20 points per game last year, the Demons have given up only 31 points through the first three games this season.

“We just try to play every series independently,” Westbrook said. “We just try to emphasize that and keep playing ball.”

The Demons offense also benefited from the play of their defense as the field was short on most drives.

Addie and the offense eventually clicked as they put up 20 unanswered points, capped by a 93-yard touchdown run that swung the momentum of the game. Westbrook said the offense was key in pulling out the win.

“Even though we sputtered in the first half, that’s a good ball club,” Westbrook said. “It means a lot just getting the victory. Wins are hard to come by.”

With a much improved defensive unit, the team is hoping it can make it to its third straight state final after coming up short in the previous two.

The offense is now playing catch up as it adjusts to losing several playmakers off of last year’s team, including quarterback Dylan Fromm.

Addie, in his first season as the start, has been able to bring a new dynamic to the team with his ability to run the ball. He also has a strong arm, but still has room to grow as a passer.

“As the season progresses, once he starts trusting his reads a little more the sky’s the limit for that kid,” Westbrook said. “He has got all the physical tools, a strong cannon of an arm.”

Baldwin’s first score came midway through the third quarter to get within 13. That was as close as the Braves would get despite a score late in the game when it was already out of reach. The Warner Robins defense put the finishing touches on the victory with a late interception that set up the final field goal to put Baldwin away for good.

Next up for the Demons is Colquitt County, a powerhouse with former Jones County head coach Justin Rogers stepping as the new head coach this season.

It will be a big test for Warner Robins as Colquitt is coming off multiple state title appearances and is considered one of the top teams in the state. Wide receiver Marcayll Jones said it’s all about preparation leading up to that game.

“Win the day… win every day of the week,” Jones said. “Then we go in and go to work.”

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Justin Baxley is the fan life reporter at The Telegraph and writes stories centered around entertainment, food and sports in the Macon community. Justin joined the Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice and journalism. During his time at Mercer he served as the sports editor for The Cluster.