Despite the 370 plus rushing yards totaled by Chamberlin Chiefs (4-5), impressive offensive performances by senior running back Kendall Pearcey and senior wide receiver Jon Marc Carrier led the Warriors (4-5) to an emotional 35-28 victory on senior night.
With Pearcey supplying 4 of the 5 touchdowns, 120 yards rushing, over 100 yards receiving, and over 125 all-purpose yards for the 4th game in a row, he could not help it but to give yet another shout out to his “boys” on the offensive line. “Stats are great, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t come away with the (win). Like last week, the offensive line came through for us running backs and they paid attention to everything they did good last week, and brought it back again this week. I told them right before the game, there is no slacking. Give 110 % or don’t play.”
Pearcey also has shown more than being the team’s top running back, he has become the team’s 2nd leading receiver (behind Carrier) including a 65-yard touchdown reception which tied up the game near the end of the 1st half 21-21.
This season, Pearcey has delivered over 1250 all-purpose yards, he is team’s leading rusher, punt returner and kick-off returner.
“It feels great to be able to put my footprint in this school, and leave a legacy behind. I don’t wanna leave though. I mean, I wish I could stay here and never leave this field,” said Pearcey
Jon Marc Carrier left his indent on Friday’s game by starting the Warrior offense off with an opening-play 72-yard touchdown reception, which was part of his 84 receiving yards.
“It’s been a great experience for me. I have loved this team since the day I joined and I have always been striving to get the extra edge needed to do my best. My Dad [former NFL player] can be held responsible for that. He constantly has been training with me in the summers, school breaks, and even during camps,” said Carrier.
The night seemed particularly emotional because of the Warriors rebound from a slow start this year.
“We started out plain awful in the first half of the season (1-4). It took a lot of courage to keep on fighting until we got better. And that is something I am proud to be a part of. Look at us now. We are on a 2 win streak, won our senior night, going on in a good mood in our last game, and are 4-5 having a solid chance to end the season at a .500 record.”
On the other side of the field, the Warriors faced a new and never before seen problem. They didn’t have experience against the constant hurry up offense presented by the Chiefs Friday. Chamberlain, except for the fact that they only tried to pass the ball 6 times, 4 of them being in the last 23 seconds of the game, did a good job on offense. They switched out quarterbacks practically every set of downs.
Three players in particularly posed a direct threat to the Warriors chance of winning: Dakarai Highsmith, Nick McNeal, and Xavier Johnson. Out of 37 players on the Chiefs roster, those three produced exactly 372 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“They’re just really good at what they do. It’s tough to deal with. We had plenty of trouble, but in the end, we didn’t break, and that’s what’s important” said Warrior Head Coach, Andres Perez-Reinaldo.
The majority of the time though, when the ball wasn’t handed off to junior running back Nick McNeal, who rushed of 100 yards on the dot, junior quarterback Dakarai Highsmith was rushing by himself up the middle every play accounting for 164 rushing yards.
After the first half ended with the score 21-21, the Warriors immediately switched gears and started stopping the rushing game more and more.
For the Chiefs, it seemed as if the raw power of Carrier, Pearcey, and junior running back Jake Carroll only got better.
“It’s really special on senior night; this is all I could ask for from my boys on senior night. When we won, I just saw the sparkles in the eyes of my boys. I mean, we did good things everywhere. I mean, this is probably the first time in program history, a Steinbrenner quarterback (Curtis Fitch) has thrown for over 200 yards” said Coach Perez.
Tonight, the Warriors were flagged a total of 14 times which wasn’t close to the 7 times the Chiefs were penalized. The Warriors will need to improve in this area if they want to finish .500 for the season, according to their coach.
“You know, bottom line here, we played back and forth with Chamberlin last year, and they are a heck of a football team. We went back and forth this year, and it means the world to me that we played for our seniors tonight and that’s something special. We were able to stop them from going to playoffs and I’m proud of that. When its senior night, we have to put a little extra something special into our play, and you know, it wasn’t Chamberlain’s senior night, it wasn’t their night, this was ours, and our seniors showed up to play” said Coach Perez.
Next week the Warriors (4-5) will face Middleton (2-8) on the road for their final game of the season.
Evan Abramson / Staff Writer