Owen football season ends after loss to Shelby, coach thanks seniors

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
The Owen Warhorses ended the season with a 4-7 overall record after a loss to Shelby in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 5.

The Owen Warhorses ended their season with a NCHSAA 2A first-round loss, 55-3, to Shelby on the road on Nov. 5. 

"I was proud of our kids, proud of the way they fought. They didn't lay down, they didn't quit. They had Shelby frustrated at times," said coach Brint Russell. "It wasn't a cake walk for them."

Ranked first in its conference and holding an undefeated 6-0 conference run, Shelby pounced on Owen from the start with 28 points in the first quarter. Shelby then scores 13 and 14 points in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Owen was 3-3 in conference played and ended the season with a 4-7 overall record. 

Owen coach Brint Russell lead the Warhorses for a 4-7 overall record at the end of the season.

Russell said the Warhorses put up a good fight against a strong team with multiple athletes heading to play Division I college football. He said Owen, with its graduating seniors, will be losing some the best players to come out of the school's football program. 

"One of the best senior classes I've ever been around," Russell said. "You can't ever replace those guys. I'm optimistic, we have our starting quarterback, our starting full back coming back."

Senior running back Briggs Barker ended the season with 77 carries for 649 rushing yards with seven touchdowns. Fellow senior Cadyn Cook finished the season with 80 carries for 547 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Senior and fellow quarterback Eli Lanter finished with five completions for 66 yards, 46 carries for 192 yards and three touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Alex Sanchez ended the season with 26 completions for a total of 396 yards and a QB rating of 53.9.

Russell said he was very proud of the seniors' leadership throughout the season. In light of a new offense and the late arrival of a member of the coaching staff, the seniors that stepped up held the team together, according to Russell.

"Just can't say enough about this senior class," Russell said. "We'll adjust and get some kids ready to play ball in the fall, come back and take our shot at it."