By Jeffery Armstrong
The Henry County Warhawks football team battled hard at home Friday night, but they couldn't take advantage of Houston County's early mistakes, in a 41-6 loss to the Bears in the final regular-season game for both teams.
Bears quarterback Brandon King scored four rushing touchdowns to lead Houston County (7-3) to victory. With the win, Houston County finishes third in the final Region 2-AAAAA standings, clinching a playoff berth.
Both teams played a sloppy game, with Henry County (1-9) committing six turnovers and Houston County committing five. The difference in the game was the Bears scored 20 points off three Henry turnovers while the Warhawks didn't score off any Houston County gaffe.
The Bears started the game with their minds elsewhere. Houston County fumbled on its first three possessions of the game, losing the first two. Henry couldn't capitalize, only managing one total yard in the first quarter.
Henry tried to mount a drive in the second stanza, but that's when the wheels fell off for the Warhawks. Henry senior quarterback Mike Rozier bounced a pass off one of his upbacks and it fell directly into the hands of Bears defensive end John Atkins, who raced 45 yards for the touchdown. The point-after failed and Houston led 6-0.
Minutes later, Houston got the ball back but fumbled it back to the Warhawks. After three plays, Henry punted and the Bears returned it for a touchdown. The play was nullified by a blocking penalty, however, giving Houston the ball at the Warhawks' 32. On the next snap, Houston's King raced into the endzone for a touchdown, and the 2-point conversion gave the Bears a 14-0 lead.
Thing got worse for Henry when the Warhawks fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and Houston recovered. Two plays later, King ran in another score, this one from 13-yards to give the Bears a 21-0 lead at halftime.
The Warhawks tried to rally in the third, as Rozier threw a 37-yard TD pass to receiver Daryl Simmons with 7:44 left. The point-after was wide left and the score was 21-6.
Houston wasn't fazed by the score, though, as King added two final rushing touchdowns, from 1 and 15 yards out to push the score to 34-6. Bears running back Adrian Bakon scored from 30 yards out in the fourth to put the margin at 41-6.
Rozier ended his Warhawk career completing 10 of 23 passes for 118 yards. He had two fumbles and two interceptions.
"It seems like I was a freshman two days ago. My career has gone by fast," Rozier said. "I would've loved to win a lot, but playing on this team taught me a lot about dealing with adversity. I don't regret one minute about playing here."
Henry senior running back Tommy Davis had 22 carries for 101 yards in his final game.
"It's always a great opportunity to play this game. Playing for Henry County has taught me so much," Davis said. "I know that I can look at myself in the mirror and say I gave it all I had."