The flags were flying like it was the Fourth of July.
Despite a number of penalties, Warren bounced back from last week's Region 6 loss to Bradford with a dominant 35-6 victory over Central Tech on Friday at Veterans Stadium in Erie.
More importantly, the win sets up a showdown with first-place Cathedral Prep (4-0 in region) next Friday at Cathedral Prep's new facility. Warren is 4-1 in Region 4.
"I was very disappointed with some of the foolish penalties and sloppy play that has plagued us," said Warren coach Brad Wright. "In week 8, when you're a playoff caliber team, playoff caliber teams don't play like this."
Take away the penalties, and Warren looked very much like a playoff caliber team.
Central Tech (1-7) received the opening kickoff, but Warren forced a quick three and out before T.J. Latimer took a 12-yard run in for an easy score.
Times Observer photo by Mitch Wilston
Warren’s T.J. Latimer takes a hand off from quarterback Matt Stapleford (14) on Central Tech’s one-yard line while Rex Graham (25) lead blocks. Latimer scored on a one-yard run, as well as two other rushing touchdowns, and a receiving touchdown. Warren dominated Central Tech, 35-6, at Veterans Stadium on Friday night in Erie.
Latimer made his presence known, and on 12 carries and seven receptions he had a combined 184 offensive yards with a whopping four touchdowns.
"T.J. had a phenomenal game and is just an explosive player," said Wright. "He's a gamer, you can always expect him to rise to the occasion."
Matt Stapleford also had a big game for the Dragons; he completed 10 of his 16 attempted passes for a total of 180 yards and a touchdown.
Warren-Central Tech Stats
W-T.J. Latimer 12 run (Matt Stapleford kick)
W-Latimer 1 run (Stapleford kick)
W-Andrew Morrison 7 run (Stapleford kick)
C-Wilfredo Latorre 41 pass from Manny Holmes (run failed)
W-Latimer 14 pass from Stapleford (Stapleford kick)
W-Latimer 6 run (Stapleford kick)
RUSHING-W-TJ Latimer 12-61, 3 TD's, Matt Stapleford 2-16, Rex Graham, 5-30, Andrew Morrison 5-64, 1 TD. C-Emanuel Andino 8-17, Manny Holmes 17-12, Paul Kafando 4-9, Noel Ruiz 4-8.
PASSING-W-Stapleford 10 of 16 for 180 yards with 1 TD. C-Holmes 1 of 10 for 41 yards with 1 TD.
RECEIVING-W-Latimer 7 for 123 with 1 TD. Morrison 1 for 20, Nate Zigler 2 for 37. C-Wilfredo Latorre 1 for 41 with 1 TD.
Warren's dominating defense held Central Tech to only one score on the night, which happened at the end of the third quarter.
With 50 seconds left in the quarter, Central's quarterback Manny Holmes let go of a pass which ended up just short of the goal line and into the end zone for a touchdown, a 41-yard pass play. Wilfredo Latorre of Central came down with it for the score, but Central failed to convert on its two-point conversion.
Andrew Morrison also scored for the Dragons on a 7-yard scamper into the end zone that was set up by his own 45-yard run.
Central Tech is 1-7.