FRONT ROYAL — Warren County enters tonight’s football game at Brentsville on a high note.
The Wildcats rallied for an impressive comeback win over George Mason last week and Wildcats coach Brian Bush said the win should definitely give his team a little extra confidence and showed them not to give up no matter what the score is.
“I think what we took away the most is that we rallied, we came together, we never quit,” Bush said before Tuesday’s practice. “We put it into our heads that we can get out there and play the game of football when we set our minds to it.”
The Wildcats (2-4, 1-0 Class 3 Northwestern) trailed the Mustangs, 26-7, entering the fourth quarter before beginning the furious rally.
One of the real bright spots for the Wildcats was having different players step up and make big plays throughout the fourth quarter.
“It’s nice to see that it’s not just one person making plays,” Bush said. “Anybody can step up and make a play when they want to. I think (Warren County junior quarterback) Bryce (Post) did a great job of spreading the ball around and allowing other players to make those types of plays. It sort of showed what type of team we are. We’re not just one-dimensional and everybody that we have out there is out there for a reason and they played well.”
Post has led the Wildcats’ dynamic passing offense with an area-best 1,231 yards passing with 10 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Logan DeHaven leads a strong receiving corps with 25 receptions for 490 yards and six scores. The Wildcats have seven different players with at least five catches this season and four of them have at least 10.
Bush said that Brentsville (3-3, 1-0 Class 3 Northwestern) plays an aggressive defense and likes to blitz and bring pressure. The Tigers defeated William Monroe, 13-10, last week to open up their district slate.
DeHaven said that the Tigers will present a challenge to the Warren County passing game.
“Their defense is going to bring it,” DeHaven said. “Their corners are pretty good. They’re not going to give up and their defense is going to keep coming no matter what. So we just have to be ready for that.”
Bush said that Brentsville likes to run the ball, but they have a solid passing game as well.
Junior running back Kyler Cornwell has been the top running threat for the Tigers, although junior quarterback Guy Hayes is capable of making plays with his legs or his arm. Hayes’ top target at wide receiver has been senior Kevin Peterson.
Even though the Wildcats gave up 33 points to George Mason, Bush said his defense didn’t play poorly against the Mustangs. Warren County’s offense was 1-for-7 on fourth down conversions. He said offensively he likes to be aggressive with his play calling and at times that put his defense in a tough position.
“George Mason just stepped up to the plate and sort of stopped us in the times that we needed to get that yard or two the most,” Bush said. “And I set our defense up in not so great situations early. But I think our defense responded well. At the end of the game, they stepped up when they needed to most and they showed some grit and put an end to the game — and it was fun to see.”
The Wildcats played a difficult non-district schedule and DeHaven said he believes that will help the team out in their Class 3 Northwestern District games.
“Our first five games couldn’t have been better,” DeHaven said. “They’ve set us up on course for the last five games perfectly. We played some tough teams and our team showed a lot of perseverance and overcame that.”
Every game in the Class 3 Northwestern District was competitive last week and Bush said he expects more of that this week and every week for the rest of the season.
“That’s how this district is going to be, always fighting for playoff positions,” Bush said. “And I think a lot of teams around here are similar in the fact that we have hard-nosed kids. We want to succeed. No team’s going to quit. When the scoreboard says 000, whoever comes out on top just made a few more plays than the other team. The following week it’s another game that anybody can win. These next four games are going to be exciting and fun and we got to know that we’re going to get the best out of every team no matter who we play.”