Warriors Take Tough Loss to Nationally Ranked Lipscomb Academy
The Thompson Warriors took on another nationally ranked team to begin the 2022 season and welcomed Trent Dilfer and his Lipscomb Academy Mustangs to Warrior Stadium Friday, August 27.
The Warriors took a quick lead in the first half and led for most of the game, but injuries and costly turnovers ultimately lost them a chance at victory with a final score of 24-14.
Running back AJ Green and the offense had a great start to this one as Green accounted for five of the six plays in the drive. His 33 yard reception put the Warriors in business reaching into the red zone. Green would go for 100 all purpose yards in the first half. Quarterback Zach Sims then finished things off with a perfect 16 yard pass to Korbyn Williams in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
The defense was dominant again against a top flight offense and forced a three-and-out to get the ball back to Sims at the 48 yard line.
The junior led Thompson down the field on an 11 play drive where he and Green continued to elude the Mustangs on the ground. Sims pulled the ball on a fake handoff then trotted into the end zone from one yard out for his first rushing TD of the year.
It was Lipscomb’s turn for a long drive next, but the Warrior defense held up forcing a 33 yard field goal when the Mustangs had traveled into the red zone. I️t would be their only points of the half as 39 plays in that span rendered the lone triple. Thompson’s defense also forced a turnover on downs and a fumble later in the second quarter to keep the Mustangs at bay.
Injuries along the offensive line began to take their toll on the Warriors in the second half. A short drive and a short punt gave Lipscomb the ball at Thompson’s 35 yard line. Quarterback Hank Brown and the Mustangs quickly turned that into their only TD drive of the game cutting the lead to 14-10 with 7:56 left in the third quarter.
After a first down, Thompson’s next drive stalled near midfield, but a great 48 yard punt stuck Lipscomb on their own 14. Another three-and-out for the defense put Thompson back on their 38.
A big third down conversion from Sims to Green put the Warriors back in Mustang territory. Two plays later Sims went down on an incomplete pass and lost his helmet costing him the next play. On third and 11, Thompson needed a big completion but Hayden Garrison’s pass was picked off by Lipscomb’s Bryan Longwell for a touchdown, switching the lead to the Mustangs 17-14.
The Warriors had two more chances in the red zone in the fourth quarter with the defense providing a chance and the offense making a long drive.
A Mustang punt from the back of the end zone gave Thompson the ball 31 yards from the end zone. Sims hit a big pass to junior receiver Deuce Oliver to get inside the ten yard line with just under six minutes to go in the game. The Warriors went to AJ Green on consecutive runs and looked to reach the ball over the goal line on the second but the ball was knocked loose at the last second and returned 99 yards for a 24-14 Lipscomb lead.
Nevertheless, Thompson didn’t give up despite the crushing play. The Warriors drove into Lipscomb’s red zone one last time with Zach Sims hitting 3-4 passes including a 28 yarder to Korbyn Williams. With just over two minutes remaining Thompson opted for a field goal, but John McGuire’s 27 yard field goal swing just to the right of the post.
AJ Green led the Warriors on offense with 155 all-purpose yards including 94 on the ground and 61 receiving. Zach Sims finished 16-24 for 166 yards and a touchdown. Korbyn Williams led the team in receiving with 70 yards on five receptions and a TD.
Jake Ivie led the defense with eight tackles with two for loss and a broken up pass. Caleb Ballard had four total tackles including a sack with three QB pressures.
The Warriors will head back out on the road this coming week as they face Vestavia Hills to begin region play. The game is Friday, September 2 at 7 p.m.