Missed chances plague the Warriors Football
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
On six different occasions, Warwick got into the red zone against Lancaster Catholic last Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they didn’t get enough to show for it.
Those missed opportunities loomed large as the Crusaders overcame a 14-7 second-quarter deficit and handed Warwick a 42-21 loss in Lancaster in a Section One clash. Senior quarterback Evan Purvis threw for 250 yards and three scores, while running back Nassir Weaver added three TD’s, keeping Lancaster Catholic (3-0 L-L, 3-3 overall) tied with Wilson atop the Section standings.
The Warriors, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 in league play (2-4 overall) heading into its Homecoming game against McCaskey this Friday night at Grosh Field.
"We had chances," Warwick coach Bob Locker said. "We’ve got to learn to finish things in the red zone. It’s something we need to improve upon quickly."
A botched snap was costly on Warwick’s missed field goal attempt at the end of its opening possession, but they got on the scoreboard when Gabe Taylor scored on an 11-yard run. Kobi Biemesderfer’s first of three PAT’s put the Warriors in front 7-0. Taylor finished with a team-high 64 rushing yards on 15 carries.
Capitalizing on a big offensive line, led by Thomas McIntyre (6-5, 265), the Crusaders gained 189 yards on the ground and Weaver’s 30-yard scamper to the end zone tied it 7-7 after one.
"(Catholic’s offensive line) did a nice job," Locker said. "McIntyre is a pretty good football player."
in the second quarter, Warrior senior defensive back Anthony Fatjo did a nice job when he pirated a Purvis aerial and returned it 49 yards to the house, giving Warwick the lead back, 14-7.
"We got off to a good start. Fatjo made an outstanding play on the pick six," Locker said, "and we put ourselves in a good position."
It continued to look promising for Warwick when its defense held the Crusaders, getting the ball back, and then the Warriors drove deep into Catholic territory again. The drive stalled at Catholic’s 11 and Biemesderfer attempted to make it a 17-7 lead, but the 28-yard field goal was off the mark.
Moments later, Purvis connected with Harrison Heise for an 80-yard TD strike, and then Purvis split the uprights for the PAT to pull the Crusaders even 14-14 with 6:45 left in the half.
"That was kind of a quick swing," Locker said. "I think that took a little bit out of the kids."
From there, Lancaster Catholic added two more scores before the break to go up 28-14 going to the locker room. Weaver’s five-yard run capped a tiebreaking six-play, 65-yard scoring drive and then Purvis’ 37-yard TD pass Rafael Mateo completed the first-half scoring.
"Purvis does a nice job of managing the game," Locker said. "He’s a good athlete, he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, he doesn’t get flustered. I think more than anything, he just brings some calm to those guys and some senior leadership."
The Warriors got a big play of their own from the quarterback position in the third quarter, with Matt Pennypacker (21-of-41, 225 yards, 2 INT’s) finding open spaces on a 54-yard TD run which cut the Crusaders’ lead to 28-21 with 6:06 remaining in the stanza. Later, they had an opportunity to tie it or get even closer, but to no avail, falling short on a fourth-down conversion in the Crusaders’ red zone.
Lancaster Catholic nose guard Jackson Houston (5-9, 260) did a solid job of bottling things up on the line, causing frustration for the Warriors’ running game.
"We didn’t finish drives," Locker said. "They’re very big, they’re physical. The linebackers did a great job of filling and we had a little bit of trouble with the nose guard. He was occupying two guys at times, so their ‘backers were pretty much roaming free. But we just had trouble running and if you’re in the red zone and you’re still four wide, it’s difficult. The field is compressed. So we just needed to find a way to finish. It wasn’t a lack of effort physically. The kids played hard."
Charles Scarff’s eight-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter put the Crusaders in front 35-21. But to the Warriors credit, they didn’t go quietly, attempting a fourth-down conversion deep in their own territory late in the final stanza. It was unsuccessful, and the Crusaders capitalized on a short field when Weaver scored on a one-yard run to finish the scoring.
"For me personally, I don’t see much difference in losing 35-21 or 42-21," Locker said. "The notion was that we weren’t going to quit."
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