Triumphant Dubs Ring in 2021 Season with Win over Wheeler


Dave Quick

Locked in: junior Jamie O’Kelley finds the clear

Friday nights under the lights are back, and the Warrior family could not be more excited. It had been a long time coming for the Dubs, who played in empty, barren stadiums throughout the entirety of the 2020 season, a period labeled the “COVID Season” by many. Thankfully, stadiums characterized by eerie desertedness appear to be no more than a bitter memory as the Dubs rang in the new season last Friday night. With the return of the student section for the first time in almost two years, the energy could truly be felt at Midtown High School’s stadium, the home field of the Dubs. A sea of passionate Warriors dressed out for the Hawaiian luau theme in colorful buttdown shirts, leis, and other festive clothes, which contributed to an environment of insurmountable excitement that reached exponentially high levels as the game kicked off promptly at 7:30 p.m. The first game of the 2021 season was officially underway, and the clash against the Wheeler Wildcats began.   

The first half was one of slow starts for both the Wildcats and the Warriors. The Warrior’s offense sputtered, struggling to gain much yardage other than in a few breakthroughs in the running game by sophomore running back Connor Hughes. The Warrior defense kept the team in the game, however, allowing minimal yardage to the Wildcats, except on one big play early in the first quarter where a wide receiver broke free and scored a touchdown. 

The Wildcats’ lead was held to seven for the remainder of the first half. A critical endzone interception in the second quarter by the Warriors prevented a second Wildcat touchdown, and multiple defensive stands on third downs forced several Wildcat punts. The Warriors offense began knocking on the door of the endzone towards the end of the second quarter, with possessions down inside the Wheeler 25 yardline, but unfortunately, the end zone would not be found until the second half. 

The much anticipated first touchdown of the season finally came in the third quarter. A few key third down conversions set the Warriors up nicely to run the ball into the end zone from very close to the goaline. The student section was ecstatic and began jumping up and down. The energy had never faltered, but with the game tied 7-7, it reached new levels. Several seniors led the way in keeping the energy at a maximum among the Dubs fans. One senior, Owen Mahaffey, described his feelings as he cheered on the Warriors. “To come back as a senior after quarantine, after online school, after everything, is an amazing feeling. Being able to lead the student section is a legendary experience, it’s honestly inspirational,” he said.  

The Warriors went on to add a clutch field goal in the third quarter by senior placekicker Taft Meredith, and now, with all of the momentum, were ungiving on defense. A key interception early in the fourth quarter, as well as a defensive stand on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, led to a 10-7 Dubs win. The long awaited first home game with fans in what felt like an eternity had been a victory. A sense of triumph and exaltation filled the student section and the Warrior’s sideline. “This is how you start off the football season! That’s my takeaway from this awesome night,” said junior Mac Reynolds.


The Dubs will be back under the lights again next Friday night against Therrell. The game was initially slated to be an annual matchup against archrival Midtown High School (formerly Grady), who just came off of a 67-0 defeat in their season opener, but news was received this week that the Midtown Knights, lacking enough players, decided to cancel their varsity football season. Dubs fans are glad that a new opponent was found, and they are more than ready for their second home game of the season. Excitement is high and the Warriors are expecting a great turnout on Friday. Go Dubs!