By Doug Gorman
Henry County eighth grade football coach Troy Baker saw something special in his team two years ago when they were just seventh graders.
That's when they won the seventh grade county title.
Jump ahead one year, and this collection of Warhawks added another piece of hardware to the school's trophy case Thursday night with a 24-6 victory over Dutchtown in the Henry County Middle School game at Dutchtown High School.
Baker, who coached the team to the seventh grade title last year, moved over to eighth grade this year. In two years, the squad went 17-1 under Baker's watch.
The only loss came against Dutchtown in a regular-season 20-6 loss this year.
"We got humbled at our place, and they celebrated pretty hard," Baker said. "Our guys didn't forget about that."
Tarez Miller scored all three touchdowns for the Warhawks en route to the win.
Henry County's Jarvarus Wesley blocked a punt on the first series of the game, and the Warhawks took just two plays to score from their own 10 when Miller rushed across the goal line from the four. He also added the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Dutchtown bounced right back on its second series of the game, marching 52 yards on 13 plays for its only score of the game.
The Bulldogs' biggest play of the series came when Christian Tatum converted a fourth-and-two play.
Three plays later, Malik Barkley scored on a 2-yard run.
With just over two minutes to go in the half, Miller added his second score of the game with a 29-yard run. Javon Cobb then caught a 2-point conversion to give the Warhawks a 16-6 lead.
Dutchtown nearly found the end zone with just seconds to go when Tony Brown threw a halfback pass to Sergio Blades. The Warhawks nearly broke up the play, but it was tipped and grabbed by Blades, who ran the ball down to the one. The drive stalled when the Bulldogs gave the ball back on a turnover.
The two teams exchanged fumbles to open the second half, and the Warhawks took advantage of the Bulldogs miscue to set up its third score.
The team's final trip into the end zone came with 3:18 left in the third when Miller scored on a 42-yard trip down the Dutchtown sideline for his third score of the game.
He was injured on the play, and did not return.
"I am excited to see the future for these kids," Baker said. "(Henry County High School) Coach (Mike) Rozier is getting some good players."