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Ready-to-play Warriors coast past McClain to earn season-opening victory

Clay Archer, Contributor

GREENFIELD — Football season is officially underway and, to celebrate, the Adena Warriors decided to put on a firework display Friday night.

Out of the gate, the Warriors started fast and continued on a sprint-like pace until the final whistle blew, earning a 41-14 win over McClain.

“We came out on fire. Our kids were hyped up,” Adena coach John Penwell said. “November 2 was our last game. The kids have been eager to get back on the field and I think that showed in the first half.”

After Adena’s defense forced a three-and-out to start the contest, quarterback Preston Sykes took the Warriors’ first offensive play from scrimmage 70-plus yards to the house. Then, after another defensive stop, on the first play of the second drive, Sykes hooked up with Logan Bennett for another 70-plus-yard touchdown strike.

“We knew coming in we were the better team and we wanted to show that,” Sykes said. “We didn’t want to take [McClain] lightly. I think we came out and punched them. We scored on our first two offensive plays. We were just really hyped. It feels great to get the win.”

Up 14-0 with two plays ran and over 140 yards of total offense, Adena (1-0) didn’t stop there. The Warriors scored on their next two drives, using Throckmorton in the backfield alongside senior Dalton Metzger and senior Dakota Cottrill.

To put into perspective just how dominant Adena was in Friday’s first half, the Warriors went into halftime with a 27-0 lead after not allowing a single first down on the defensive side of the football.

The second half started out similarly to the first.

After receiving the kickoff, the Warriors marched right down the field and punched the ball into the end zone. McClain (0-1) finally got on the board when they returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, making it 34-8.

“We came out the second half a little flat and I was worried about that kickoff when it happened,” Penwell said. “I think we learned from that and the kids picked it back up and we played at a higher level after that.”

Adena answered, and quickly, with a touchdown to push the score to 41-8. The Tigers later rounded out the final score on a 77-yard quarterback keeper with under three minutes left in the third quarter.

In Week 2, Adena travels to Marion Elgin — a 43-0 loser to Northmor, Friday. McClain will also be on the road, traveling to Northwest.

“It feels great, starting with the two big plays and the line playing good … it was just a great overall win,” Sykes said. “We’ve got some confidence and momentum now. But this game is over. We have to start preparing for Marion Elgin next week. That starts Monday.”

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