Class 5A Blog: Warner Robins prevails in showdown ... how top 10 fared

One of this week’s big games lived up to its billing, while the other never got off the ground.

No. 3 Warner Robins knocked of No. 1 Ware County 22-19 in a Region 1 showdown at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. But the contest between No. 2 Blessed Trinity and No. 4 Cartersville because of COVID-19; no makeup date has been scheduled and may not be possible.

Warner Robins, who has been to the state title game the last three years, and Ware County both looked like teams capable of making a deep run in the playoffs. The two titans slugged it out for four quarters before Warner Robins was able to score the winning points with 2:12 remaining.

Ware scored first on a 27-yard field goal by Henry Bates, but Warner Robins responded with a pair of touchdowns orchestrated by quarterback Jalen Addie. He threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to De’Andre King and scored on a 14-yard run, moments after connecting with Cian Williams for a long completion.

Bates added a 40-yard field goal and cut the halftime lead to 14-12 after Jalen Melvin picked up a blocked punt and returned it for a 20-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion failed.

The Gators took the lead on their first possession of the third quarter. Brandon Mills broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run to put Ware County ahead 19-14.

The rest of the half was a defensive slugfest. The teams exchanged interceptions on back-to-back possessions – Ware’s Dexter Carradine and Warner Robins' Xavier Hill had the picks – and turned the ball over on downs in back-to-back possessions.

The Demons won it on a 2-yard run by Ahmad Walker, with Armon Porter throwing a two-point conversion pass to Andrew McGee, and the defense held Ware on its final possession.

The win means Warner Robins (6-1, 1-0) is the only team in Region 1 without a league loss. The Demons still have to play No. 6 Coffee, Veterans and Wayne County. Ware County (6-1, 1-1) still has games remaining against Veterans and swamp rival Wayne County.

In other games involving the top 10:

No. 6 Calhoun coasts past Woodland: The Yellow Jackets (6-2, 2-1) got three touchdown passes from Christian Lewis to bounce back from last week’s loss to Blessed Trinity. Lewis threw a 67-yard pass to Quin Smith, a 49-yard pass to Cole Speer and a 15-yarer to Smith. Speer also scored on a 49-yard pick-six. Jerrian Hames added a 59-yard run and Carlos Orozco kicked an 18-yard field goal.

Jones County knocks off No. 7 Ola: The Greyhounds scored ten unanswered second-half points to break a 28-28 tie, then ran out the clock with back-to-back first downs to end the game. Jones (4-3) has won four straight and is the only team in Region 4 with a perfect league record.

No. 8 Starr’s Mill blanks Griffin: The Panthers moved a step closer to locking down their fifth straight region title with a 21-0 win over the Bears. The Starr’s Mill defense allowed Griffin inside the 20 only once the entire game. Starr’s Mill scored on runs of 19 and 47 yards by quarterback William Yarbrough, who led the team with 71 yards rushing. Greigh Joseph scored the other touchdown on a 4-yard run.

No. 10 Clarke Central rolls on: The Gladiators used their defense and running game to overpower Greenbrier 56-21 and take command in Region 8. Clarke Central came up with three interceptions and recovered a fumble; a pick-six was negated because of a penalty. Running backs Will Richardson and Felix Braddy kept the chains moving for Clarke, winners of five straight.

No. 9 St. Pius did not play.