OCHS junior Jake Johnson catches one of his three touchdowns on Friday night.

The Oconee County High School Warriors football team improved to 4-0 after a 44-14 victory at Thomasville. The Warrior’s defense collected four turnovers and held the Bulldogs scoreless for three quarters.

“Our defense is what gave our offense short fields and good field positions,” OCHS coach Travis Noland said. “We had a pick-six for a touchdown in the kicking game. They tried to fake a punt and we intercepted it and ran it back for a touchdown. There were a lot of good things that came from our defensive performance.”

Sophomore Whit Weeks returned the fake-punt interception for the touchdown. The Warriors had one fumble recovery and three total interceptions. Week’s older brother West returned to the field for the first time in three weeks, but only played defense since his injury was on his throwing arm.

“He played really good. He made a lot of plays and provided a lot of leadership,” Noland said about senior West Weeks.

Noland noticed the leadership and focus in his team hours before they even stepped onto the football field. The Warriors broke their four-hour bus ride in half, stopping for lunch halfway through and then they waited in a local gym before the game started.

“I just saw a lot of leadership and a lot of focus for how we handled the trip and how we played when we got there,” Noland said.

The Warriors got leadership from all sorts of upperclassmen, such as junior’s Jacob Wright and Jake Johnson. The quarterback, Wright found tight end Johnson three times for touchdowns on Friday night.

“[Thomasville] was really committed to stopping our run, so that created some opportunities in the passing game that we haven’t had to use at this point… but it was nice to be able to hit some passes,” Noland said.

“When people work hard to take [Johnson] away, we’ve got to be able to find those other guys and I think [Wright] did a good job of that Friday night.”

Wright completed passes to at least six other receivers, but Johnson has been a big target all season. Noland says that distributing the ball has been a focus in practice and that his team “prepared very well,” for Thomasville.

OCHS hosts the Veterans Warhawks this Friday in what should be a good non-conference contest. The Warhawks are 4-0, just like the Warriors.

“It’ll be tough. They’re the best team we’ve played. They’re huge, and they’ve got a lot of skill guys that pose a lot of problems, so it’ll be a very tough week of preparation and a very tough game for us Friday night,” Noland said.

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