Coming off last week’s 30-20 loss to Class 6A No. 2 Carmel, Warren Central running back Jay Coe said he felt his team had something to prove.
Coe did his part to get the Warriors back on track Friday night, accounting for 238 yards of total offense and three scores as No. 7 Warren Central downed nationally-ranked St. Xavier (Cincinnati) 28-21 in the final tune-up before sectionals.
“Coach said we played soft (last week), so we had to come out and prove to the country that we were a good team and can play with anybody,” Coe said.
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The Warriors (6-3) performed well in all facets of the game, as the offense jumped out to an early lead and the defense withstood a late push from the Bombers.
“In our schedule, you really can’t worry about last week,” Warriors coach Jayson West said. “If you do, someone’s going to punish you. We’ve been doing this for a long time. These kids understand what they signed up for, and they’re Warriors. They stepped up.”
Coe took the third play from scrimmage 71 yards for a touchdown, and that set the tone for what St. Xavier would have to deal with all night long. By halftime, Coe had added a receiving touchdown to stake his team a 14-3 lead.
“He knows where the end zone is,” West said. “Some kids have that gift, they know how to get first downs and touchdowns.”
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St. Xavier (5-3) scored 11 points in the third quarter to tie the game, but Coe stepped up again early in the fourth quarter. His second rushing touchdown of the night gave Warren Central a 21-14 lead.
“He’s slippery,” St. Xavier coach Steve Specht said. “He’s got a low center of gravity and he’s tough to bring down. He’s just a fine football player.”
Warren Central extended its lead to 14 in the fourth on a 7-yard rush by Tristan Tonte. St. Xavier made it a one-possession game with a late touchdown and recovered the onside kick, but a number of penalties ruined the chance for a Bombers comeback.
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“I tried to warn them all week, Warren Central’s got a good football team,” Specht said. “They’ve got a lot of athletes. They took it to us.”
Warren Central looks ahead to sectionals, where it will face Perry Meridian in the first round next week.
“In Indiana, if you don’t play well now, it’s over,” West said. “We’ll enjoy tonight then buckle down and get ready.”
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