Wildcats edge the Warriors
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
If someone had told Warwick that it would punt just twice against Dallastown last Friday, they probably would have liked their chances.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, though, they hurt themselves with a number of mistakes, including four interceptions by quarterback Tyler Farnan.
And when everything was said and done, the Wildcats made a first-quarter 84-yard TD pass from quarterback Austin Quinones to wide receiver Andrew Heird stand up as the difference in a 10-6 win in both teams’ non-league opener at Joseph Grosh Field in Lititz.
"We had our chances," Warwick coach Bob Locker said. "We just really didn’t take advantage of things and we gave up one big play."
Outside of that long pass play, Warwick’s stingy defense gave up just 95 yards. Junior Albert Powell had a team-high 17 tackle points, as the Warriors bottled up Dallastown’s running attack for 86 yards on 42 carries.
"I really thought the defense played an excellent football game," Locker said. "I thought defensively, we played well enough to win the game. There are some positives here. You’ve got to look at things we did well. The defense playing the way they did was certainly a positive We’ve just got to build on it."
The Warriors, meanwhile, outgained the Wildcats in total yardage 208-179. Although Dallastown’s defensive tackles, including mammoth Jesse Davis (6-6, 275), frustrated Warwick in its efforts to run stretch, the Warriors still achieved a balanced output with 105 rushing yards and 117 passing yards. Anthony Boak (12-41 rushing) and Farnan (9-38) led Warwick’s ground game, while Farnan finished 12-of-26 through the air.
"There were times when I thought we did a decent job of moving the ball," Locker said. "But four picks … we kinda self-destructed. Honestly, (Dallastown) had a couple of pretty good defensive players. Their tackles gave our kids a tough time and we didn’t move them. We thought we would be able to and they kinda took us out of what we wanted to do. I think we threw the ball 26 times. I wouldn’t have figured we would have to throw it that many. Their one DT in particular (Davis), he was a very, very good football player."
The Wildcats had good field position for their opening possession following a high snap on a Warwick punt. But Dallastown couldn’t capitalize, as the Warriors’ defense dug in to sack Quinones twice and force a fumble.
Later in the first quarter, though, the ‘Cats pulled off a big play to grab a lead they never relinquished, as Heird caught a short pass from Quinones, slipped through a Warwick tackler and went the distance.
"That touchdown pass was just a seven-yard curl pattern," Locker said. "We missed a tackle and (Heird) took off. It wasn’t a bomb or anything. It was just a short pass and he broke it. But I thought we did a great job outside of that one play."
The Warriors certainly did a great job containing Quinones in the ground game with the Wildcats operating the mid-line option.
"Their quarterback was tough," Locker said. "The kid took a beating and kept getting up. I give him credit. He took some wicked shots and hung in there. He did a nice job."
It remained a 7-0 game at the break, but then in the third, an interception by Farnan led to a 10-play scoring drive for the Wildcats. Their possession stalled at the WHS 10, but kicker Jack Margavitch booted a 27-yard field goal to boost Dallastown’s lead to 10-0. Warwick was also penalized 10 times for 79 yards.
"(Tyler) just seemed a little out of rhythm," Locker said. "He made a couple of bad reads. (But) the one interception went off our wideout’s hands and we had a couple of dropped passes as well."
But Warwick gave itself a glimmer of hope by answering with its first scoring drive of the season to cut Dallastown’s lead to 10-6. Lining up in a one-back gun formation, the Warriors marched 62 yards in 10 plays to finally get on the scoreboard. Anthony Boak, who rushed five times for 34 yards on the drive, did the honors with a three-yard TD run. Farnan also finished 3-of-3 for 26 yards to help lead the way.
"We were able to move the ball throwing it once it became obvious we were going to have trouble just lining up in our base run offense," Locker said.
Part of those troubles, of course, stem from losing Nate Johnson to injury in the pre-season, leaving the Warriors with a void at the fullback position.
"The lack of a true fullback hurt Friday night," Locker said. "(It hurts when) you get some third-and-shorts and things like that and we’re pretty used to lining up in I. That’s going to be an ongoing issue for us this year because we don’t have a bonified fullback."
Still trailing by just four points entering the final stanza, Warwick was unable to erase its deficit and Dallastown held on for the win.
The Warriors will now try to earn their first win this Friday when they host Conestoga Valley at Grosh Field at 7 p.m. The Buckskins are led by quarterback Terrance Taylor, who finished fourth in 400 at the State Track and Field Championships last spring, and running back Anthony Brown, who rushed for 105 yards and a TD in CV’s 21-13 non-league loss to Conrad Weiser last Friday.
"Their quarterback is really fast," Locker said. "Their running back ran very hard Friday night on film. They’ve got a couple of real nice sized linemen and they play tough football. So it’s going to be a challenge … We’re going to fix some things. I still believe we’ve got a solid offensive line. We’ve got some things to work out, but I think they’re all fixable. Our line gets excellent coaching and we’ll make some adjustments and I thing we’ll work some things out." More WARRIORS, page B-2