Warriors Spoil Spartans Homecoming, Post 4th Shutout of the Season
Memo to the state of Alabama: do not schedule Thompson for your homecoming.
Mountain Brook gave Thompson a battle for most of the first half, but in the end, their fate followed the pattern of all the Warriors’ other opponents as Thompson overwhelmed the Spartans in the second half for a 51-0 route Friday, September 24.
“The defense plays good enough each week for us to win the game, special teams has been making plays,” said Mark Freeman. “Right now we’re winning, but we’re not playing on a championship level on offense.”
The shutout is Thompson’s fourth of the season already, but it wasn’t always a sure thing. Mountain Brook came out swinging with some pre-snap changes at the line causing the Warriors to jump offsides twice to the delight of the Spartans fans.
However, all that went out the window as John Colvin’s first pass was intercepted by Tre’Quon Fegans who returned the ball all the way for the only points Thompson would end up needing on the night.
The Spartans’ defense came in allowing the second fewest points in the state next to Thompson and stumped the Warriors on their first drive with a three and out. The ensuing punt traveled just 20 yards downfield to give Mountain Brook their best field position of the night at the Thompson 30 yard line.
Unable to convert on third down, the Spartans opted for a 41 yard field goal, but their only chance at points were blocked by the Warriors’ special teams to end the threat.
The teams traded three-and-outs once more then Thompson got a little momentum. Traveling into Spartan territory it looked as if the Warriors offense might finally get on the board, but a nose tackle dropped into coverage for Mounting Brook catching Conner Harrell by surprise and snagged the interception across the middle of the field.
The Spartans were elated, but were promptly deflated as Thompson forced another three-and-out.
With a few bizarre drives behind them, the Warrior offense got to work in the trenches. Mark Freeman used a steady diet of Brandon Franklin, Ahmari Bilden and a rejuvenated offensive line to churn up 43 yards on a 59-yard, 11 play drive to settle everyone down.
From there, the Spartans’ offense wouldn’t get close. Thompson’s defense piled up seven tackles for loss in the first half including two big tackles and an 11 yard sack from Peter Woods. The final stop of the half gave Thompson the ball with 1:30 to go and, of course, it proved to be too much time.
Seven plays later, Conner Harrell, who also ran for 40 yards, scampered into the end zone from five yards out to give the Warriors a 21-0 halftime lead.
It was nothing but Thompson from there on out. The Spartans, who only came away with 25 yards before the break, mustered just 41 after that. The Warriors, on the other hand, did just the opposite. After an uncharacteristic 157 first half yards, they opened the floodgates for 348 more including five second half touchdowns.
Harrell found his rhythm in the second half and got it going escaping pressure and throwing a beautiful touch pass to Justin Pegues who drifted up the left sideline behind the coverage and sped past the rest of the secondary on an 89-yard TD reception.
It was Pegues’ best night of the season as he used four chunk receptions to total 145 yards and added 41 more on two rushes.
Harrell would find Jaylen Ward for his last touchdown pass of the night finishing 15-24 for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
The Warriors’ offensive line outdid themselves as six different Warriors ran for 40 yards or more. Ahmari Bolden and AJ Green led Thompson with 52 yards each as Green added the final TD. Senior running backs Brandon Franklin and Lione Cook ran for 49 yards each with Franklin scoring two touchdowns including an emphatic 13 yard score that rubber stamped another dominant night for Thompson.
“We have to be physical. The O-line, that’s where the game starts,” said senior lineman Parker Mitchell. “We have to set the whole tempo for the game, for the team.”
Peter Woods led the defense with six tackles, two for loss and a sack while Jeremiah Alexander added six more and a tackle for loss. Tre’Quon Fegans’ interception was the 11th of his career and the seventh time he’s returned one for a TD. It was also his second TD of the year as he holds Thompson’s lone kickoff return TD. A’mon Lane also picked off a pass in the second half for his first career interception.
Thompson (6-0, 3-0) will stay on the road next week and resume their region schedule at Vestavia Hills Friday, October 1 at 7 p.m.