WARRENTON — It was another typical, fan-pleasing WWE event (Warrenton Warriors Entertainment, Inc.) Friday night at John Mattila Field.
There was Jake Morrow throwing and running for touchdowns, Hordie Bodden Bodden and Devin Jackson picking up yards on the ground, and Kenzie Ramsey adding more points, just for kicks.
It all looks a little scripted … but it's actually live and unrehearsed. The Warriors are just getting good at this WWE stuff.
Warrenton finished off the Northwest League season in grand fashion with a 35-0 win over visiting Nestucca, and now the Warriors can set their sights on making a deep run in the Class 2A state playoffs, which begin next weekend.
The No. 10-ranked Warriors are more than prepared.
After losing their league opener to the Knappa Loggers way back on Sept. 27, Warrenton has won four straight, all blowout victories. During that time, the Warriors have turned into one of the highest-scoring 2A teams, averaging 49.5 points per contest.
If they continue at that pace, the Warriors will be tough to stop in the postseason.
The Warrenton offense was not putting up its usual numbers until the second half, but who needs offense when your defense is controlling the game?
The Warrior 'D' turned in a perfect performance in the Senior Night game.
In addition to tossing a shutout, the Warrenton defense allowed just three first downs, held the Bobcats to 34 yards in total offense and forced six turnovers.
Last week, Warrenton held Gaston to only 14 yards in total offense. The week before, in a 41-6 win over Neah-Kah-Nie, the Pirates had just two yards total offense. Vernonia had a whopping 65 yards in offense in a 66-13 loss to Warrenton Oct. 11.
Add it all up, and the Warriors have allowed just 25 points and 115 yards in total offense in their last four games.
Defense — as they say — wins championships. And Warrenton has a defense that should have the Warriors contending for a title.
For Nestucca, it just wasn't Ben Hurliman's night.
The Bobcats' senior quarterback lost two fumbles (both resulting in Warrenton touchdowns), and tossed two interceptions.
The Warriors, in fact, scored on the very first play from scrimmage, when Hurliman had the ball stripped, and Warrenton's Joshua Earls completed the scoop and score, returning the fumble 30 yards for a touchdown 13 seconds into the game.
But Warrenton could manage only one more score the remainder of the first half, with Morrow scoring on a 2-yard run with 5:46 left in the second quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead.
On his first offensive snap of the second half, from the Nestucca 1-yard line, Hurliman dropped the snap from center and the Warriors recovered in the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
Morrow capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive on Warrenton's second possession of the second half, then tossed a 20-yard TD to Austin Little in the fourth quarter for the final score.
Jordan Martinez had two interceptions for the Warriors and Little added a third.
Morrow finished 9-of-17 for 215 yards passing, with Bodden Bodden catching four passes for 100 yards. Ramsey was again perfect on the point-after kicks, 5-for-5.
Warrenton finishes the regular season 5-1 in league, 6-2 overall, while Nestucca drops to 3-3, 3-6.
It was (hopefully) the end of a short era, with the Warriors as a member of the 2A Northwest League. It was also — unfortunately — the end of a long era, with Ed Chase as the public address announcer for Warrenton home games after 27 years.
The Warriors will await the time and opponent for next week's playoff game.