Early deficit dooms Warwick in loss to Streaks
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
Last Friday against Manheim Township wasn’t the first time this season that Warwick has found itself in an early hole.
For the most part, the Warriors have been able to recover, going 3-1 in their first four games.
This time, however, it was a different story.
Blue Streaks’ senior quarterback Brennan Scott tossed three touchdown passes and ran for a pair of scores, as Township built a 27-0 halftime lead and went on to beat Warwick 41-14 in a Section One game in Neffsville.
That improved the Streaks’ winning streak over the Warriors to 10 games in a row. Warwick’s last victory over Township came in 2002, when they won by a 24-12 decision.
"It didn’t seem like we were focused when we got here," Warriors’ coach Bob Locker said. "It seems like we weren’t really prepared and when you get behind against a good team, it’s pretty hard to come back and (Manheim Township) is a good football team."
The Blue Streaks (1-1 L-L, 3-2 overall) are also a physical football team. Wide receiver/defensive back Austin Myers and lineman Brett Brosemer were already shelved for the Warriors (1-1 L-L, 3-2 overall) going into the game, and Zain Dawood, Tommy Garner and Nate Johnson joined them on the sideline with injuries on Friday night.
"We stayed pretty healthy for awhile and tonight we just … they’re a very physical football team and we got smacked around pretty good," Locker said. "We thought they’d be physical, but we thought we’d be physical as well and we made too many mistakes in the first half."
"(The physical game) is what I was concerned about early on," Manheim Township coach Mark Evans said. "Watching them on film, I felt like (Warwick) had a very strong, big football team that I thought created some match-up positions for us up front. I thought our kids rose to the challenge there. I was concerned about that. I think Bob has a very big team that can be very physical when it needs to be and that’s what concerned me about getting moved off the football and there were times they were getting some good yardage on us."
The Blue Streaks got some good yardage on Warwick on their first possession following a 40-yard kickoff return by Tyler Karpinski. Six plays later, Raycol Martinez caught a short pass from Scott and sprinted 33 yards to the end zone to put the hosts up 7-0 with just 1:52 elapsed in the game.
"We were misaligned on defense, they out-leveraged us on the outside and (Martinez) was pretty fast and made a nice move," Locker said. "We just made a lot of mistakes tonight — we misaligned I don’t know how many times, the penalties, jumping offsides. You can’t play that kind of football against good football teams."
Albert Powell’s sack of Scott on fourth down capped a big defensive stand after the Streaks started their next series at the WHS 22 following a blocked punt.
But the Warriors managed just one first down on their first two touches, and with Township winning the field position battle, they doubled their lead when Scott scored on a one-yard QB sneak with 1:55 to go in the first.
Warwick finally put together its best drive of the half on its next possession, as senior QB Zack Hurst ran for a pair of first downs and Ryan Gruett took the ball to the Streaks’ 6-yard line on an option pitch right. But with Hurst knocked from the game following a shot to the ribs, the Warriors were dropped for a loss on a botched shotgun snap and then Garner’s pass on fourth down fell incomplete.
"(The center) snapped it when it wasn’t supposed to be snapped. Simple as that," Locker said when asked about the errant snap. "It was loud, I get that, but yeah, that hurt a lot. We needed to put something on the board there and we had to take Zack out. We needed that score if we were going to try to hang in this game."
That missed opportunity looked big after Township stretched its lead to 21-0 with 1:52 remaining in the half on a Scott-to-Isaiah Reichenbach 13-yard TD pass on a slant pattern. Scott was 3-of-6 on the drive while getting protection from a line including David Sanchez (5-9, 215), Gavin Johnson (6-1, 250), Michael Ramirez (5-10, 275), Logan Murr (6-3, 210) and Brandon Clements (6-3, 225).
"I thought we executed fairly well (in the first half)," said Evans, whose squad was missing starting center Brendon O’Shea (6-1, 250). "They did a good job of stopping us on the one fourth down and we had a three-and-out, but other than that, we were able to consistently move the football. And that’s what we’re looking for right now is we’ve got to find that consistency."
On Warwick’s next play, MT linebacker Evan Buckwalter picked off a pass at the Streaks’ 46 and after Scott connected with Ryan Morgan on a 53-yard strike, the senior QB called his own number and scored on a one-yard keeper to make it 27-0 at the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Warwick created a break for itself when linebacker Gruett recovered a Raycol Martinez (11-59 rushing) fumble and returned it to the Warriors’ 37-yard line. Then running back Gabe Taylor (20-82 rushing) gained 38 yards on eight carries to set up a one-yard TD sneak by Hurst on the first play of the fourth quarter. Kobi Biemesderfer’s PAT cut Township’s lead to 27-7.
"We hurt ourselves so much in the first half," Locker said. "If it’s 14-0, I don’t know what happens, but all of sudden it’s 27-0 before you blink an eye and it’s a long road to come back. The only positive that I told the kids to take from it is they got a little upset in the second half, and physically, we started to move the football some. But we were too far behind."
Township answered on its next drive with Scott hitting Karpinski on a four-yard TD pass to make it 34-7 with 7:49 to go. For the game, Scott finished 10-of-20 for 174 yards and Karpinski had four receptions for 61 yards.
"(Scott)’s got a real quick release, they do a real good job of game-planning to take advantage of his strengths, he has a good three-step quick drop," Locker said. "Karpinski, we couldn’t cover him and that kinda hurt us."
The Blue Streaks also scored on a 40-yard TD run by Michenzie Foltz and then Warwick completed the scoring on Hurst’s 68-yard strike to Anthony Fatjo with 2:38 remaining. Hurst was 14-of-21 for 146 yards in the game.
The Warriors will return to action this Friday when they host Lancaster Catholic at Grosh Field at 7 p.m. The status of Dawood, Garner and Nate Johnson was unknown following their loss to the Streaks.
"If any of them can’t play next week, that’s an issue," Locker said. "If all three of them can’t play, it’s a pretty serious issue." More WARRIORS, page B-3