OAK GROVE — Eighth-ranked Warren Central gambled with a two-point conversion in overtime, but the risk paid off as quarterback Jack Wright found Maddox Lynch in the endzone to beat No. 7 Oak Grove 42-41 Friday night at Warrior Stadium.
"That play wasn't intentionally drawn up for me — it was drawn for Trey Hall," Lynch said. "But whenever he came into motion, he slipped in the backfield, and I just popped right in the middle, and Wright got it to me. It was a one-of-a-kind feeling and nothing I've ever felt before."
"[It was] a back and forth game with two teams that really wanted to win," Warren Central Head Coach Josh Morgan said. "I'm really proud of our guys and the fight they showed, the toughness, and winning football."
The two-point conversion came after a 10-yard touchdown pass, and an extra point would have tied the game.
The Vikings played from behind in overtime after Oak Grove quarterback AJ Maddox threw a 10-yard touchdown to Jaylen Aborom, a duo that gave the Vikings trouble all night long.
Maddox threw 31 of 45 passes for 363 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Three of those scoring passes went to Aborom, who caught 12 balls for 151 yards.
"(The Warriors) are a tremendous team," Morgan said. "They are hard to defend, (Aborom) is a special player, and he made a lot of great plays, but we did just enough to win."
The difference was the turnover battle, as Warren Central scored all of its points in regulation from Oak Grove's five turnovers and multiple turnovers on downs.
"Five turnovers led to all those points that they scored," Warrior coach Drew Causey said. "And we have got to be better than that."
The Warriors took an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a 31-yard field goal and a five-yard touchdown catch from Aborom. The Vikings tied the game after Aborom fumbled twice, scoring on a 12-yard touchdown from Trey Hall and then a 33-yard field goal on the following drive.
The Warriors regained the lead at 17-10 just before the half, as Devonta Holder rushed in for a one-yard touchdown.
The Vikings (4-0) only put up 64 yards of total offense in the first half, but they put up 84 on their first drive of the second half. After the Oak Grove offense stalled and turned it over on downs, Warren Central covered that distance in just three plays, scoring on Hall's 20-yard run. to tie the game 17-17.
Morgan's Vikings took their first lead in the fourth quarter when Zack Evans scooped up a JQ Gray fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Oak Grove responded with 10-yard pass from Maddox to Demari Jefferson.
The momentum shifted back to Warren Central, as they scored on a field goal, and then Ronnie Blossom intercepted a tipped pass from Maddox for a pick-six.
The Vikings held a 10-point lead with less than four minutes left, but the Warriors rallied back. Oak Grove drove down to kick a field goal to make it a one-possession game and then recovered the onside kick.
Facing a must-make fourth down at the Vikings' 11, Maddox lobbed the ball to Aborom for the game-tying touchdown with less than 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
With Oak Grove's offensive explosion, Morgan decided that it was time to call the game by sending his unit back out for the two-point conversion in overtime.
"We were away, and they had the momentum," Morgan said. "We had scored on defense, but they were tired and I felt like it was the right thing to do. It's a big road win in a tough district. We're 1-0, and we'll move forward from there."
Photos by Sean Smith