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Warwick Midget A team wears out the Buckskins
Warriors Midget A coach Beau Levering said last week that his team had "unfinished business to take care of" against Conestoga Valley, referring to the Warriors’ regular-season loss to the Buckskins at Grosh Field.
Warwick not only took care of business and found redemption last Saturday night in Witmer, they also punched their ticket to the Red Rose League semi-finals.
Coming into the game, coaches, players and even fans knew the Bucks had speed, but did the Warriors defense learn enough from their last meeting to counter that speed, and would the offensive line be able to open up the ground game while still being able to pass block for Warwick QB Tyler Trimarchi?
In one of the most exciting games of the year, the fifth-seeded Warriors (7-2) defeated the fourth-seeded Buckskins (7-2) 20-14 in dramatic style, with Trimarichi hitting Eli Cosme for the winning touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game.
CV started with possession and defensive coordinator Kurt Trimarchi knew the first series could set the tone for the entire game. His defense answered with Nate Musser and Patrick Quinn bottling up CV for successive losses, leading the way to a three-and-out. The Warriors’ faithful fans in full black-out were rewarded when Warwick struck first. An Isaac Rissinger run for 27 yards, followed by a five-yard rush by Cosme, gave the Warriors first-and-goal from the one. Rissinger then capped the opening drive with a one-yard TD run. The Warriors missed the extra point, but had an early 6-0 lead.
On CV’s next possession, the Buckskins’ Jose Barbon found some running room and pushed the Warriors back into their own end. Again, it was Musser dropping the Bucks for a third-down loss and Bryan Rottkamp stopping the Bucks on fourth down and stalling the drive at the Warrior 22.
Trimarchi then led his offense onto the field to start the second quarter, and runs by Rissinger and Nick Fucci moved the sticks, but CV’s sack of Trimarchi forced the punt.
The Warrior D returned the favor with Evan Clark and Rissinger sacking CV’s signal caller and forcing the Bucks to punt on their next series. Rissinger again moved the chains for the Warriors, but a fumble inside the CV 20 gave the Bucks another chance before the half. Jordan Snavely dropped Schwilk for a seven-yard loss and Cosme’s interception ended the CV possession and the half, with the Warriors clinging to a 6-0 lead.
Conestoga Valley tried an onside kick to start the third quarter and appeared to recover the ball, but before the required ten yards. The call went their way and the Bucks were rewarded with possession. Wasting no time working the short field, a 21-yard TD pass from Schwilk to Martinez tied the game 6-6. CV missed the extra point, but a roughing the kicker call gave the Bucks another opportunity, and they converted to go up 8-6.
From there, the Bucks pinned the Warriors deep on the ensuing kickoff, but the Warwick offense put together a beautiful 13-play, 93-yard scoring drive. Carter Forney’s clutch 27-yard reception on a third-and-26 highlighted the possession and Rissinger capped the drive with a 39-yard draw up the middle for the score. The Warriors’ PAT was unsuccessful, but they regained the advantage, 12-8.
Determined to retake the lead, CV drove the ball to the Warrior 10, but a 10-yard sack by Marty Bunting forced the Bucks to the air. An incomplete pass and great coverage by Forney on fourth down denied the Bucks.
Warwick, clinging to its four-point lead with four minutes to go, stayed with their ground game, but could not run out the clock. Trimarchi’s booming 58-yard punt helped stretch the field for the Warrior defense. But, on the first play from scrimmage, Barbon finally broke free from the Warriors’ defense, taking the handoff 80 yards for the score. Bunting blocked the extra point attempt, but CV went back in front, 16-14.
The Warrior crowd was stunned, but with over three minutes left, coach Levering knew there was still time to score. More downhill running by Rissinger pushed the ball down the field and then Trimarchi took a shot deep, but just missed a diving Forney.
A fumbled snap put the Warriors in a third-and-long, but Cosme picked up 14 yards for a first down. No gain on first down and another incomplete pass left the Warriors with a third-and-10 and set up Cosme’s game winner. Trimarchi hit Evan Popalis for the conversion, and the Warriors were back on top 20-14 with 40 seconds remaining.
Needing a stop for the victory, Fucci kept up the Warwick momentum with a great special teams tackle. The Warrior D dropped into a prevent defense and stopped the Bucks to seal the victory.
Cosme led the Warriors’ defense with seven tackles. Musser and Snavely finished with four tackles apiece, two for losses. Rissinger carried the offense, leading all rushers with 175 yards and two TDs. Cosme led all receivers with 32 yards and a TD. Trimarchi finished 5-for-7, with 70 yards and a touchdown.
Asked to sum up the victory afterward, coach Levering smiled and said, "Unfinished business."
The Warriors (7-2) take on the East Petersburg Bulldogs (9-0) this Saturday night at 8 p.m. under the lights at Grosh Field.
More MIDGET A, page B-5