The Knights, facing a tough challenge against the No. 7 team in Class AAAAA, let chances to take control of the game slip through their fingers and it cost them.
Evans quarterback Matlin Marshall fumbled at midfield with 4:14 left in the first half with the Knights up 7-0. The Demons (4-0, 1-0 Region 2-AAAAA) turned that into a touchdown with 37 seconds left in the half.
A string of events swung things in Warner Robins’ favor for good in the third quarter. After the Demons kicked a field goal to make it 10-7, the Knights drove to the Demons’ 1. Evans couldn’t punch it in, however, with Tyler Spence getting stuffed on fourth down inside the 1.
The Knights’ defense was stout and forced a punt, but they muffed the punt and Warner Robins recovered at Evans’ 48. Six plays later, quarterback Caden Johnston ran it in from 5 yards out to push the lead to 17-7 with 11:54 left in the game.
“That was the difference in the ball game, the fumbled punt, that’s the turning point,” Warner Robins coach Bryan Way said. “They did a good job. Evans has got a good football team.”
The Knights scored a late touchdown to make it 24-14 but couldn’t recover the onsides kick.
They stopped Warner Robins in the first half until the late score. On the Demons’ first drive, Evans’ Sean Vandiver intercepted a pass in the end zone.
Marshall completed 16 of 28 passes for 193 yards.
Evans coach Marty Jackson liked the way his team fought until the end.
“The defense played really stiff and the offense, we were really close to getting there,” Jackson said.