Dragons rally in fourth quarter for first-ever win over GM
None of that seemed to matter in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s homecoming game against General McLane. Twice the Lancers had chances to convert on fourth down deep in Warren territory.
The Dragons came up with the stop each time and ran off War Memorial Field with a 13-12 victory. It was Warren’s first win over General McLane in program history.
“The kids responded to the challenge,” Warren coach Mark Morelli said. “Coming back from those two losses (vs Meadville, at Oil City), this showed the intestinal fortitude and fight they have. This was a signature win.”
General McLane (1-6 overall, 1-4 Region 7) was leading 12-7 when the Lancers got a fourth-down stop with 6:24 to go in the third quarter. They marched methodically down the field with a 13-play drive that left them facing a fourth-and-one at the Warren 9 in the early part of the fourth quarter. GM quarterback Matthew Leehan handed the ball to running back Jared Iavarone-Campbell up the middle. Iavarone-Campbell, who ran for 100 yards on the night, was met by a host of Dragons and driven down. The spot wasn’t clear and officials called for a measurement.
Warren’s defense had held by the slimmest of margins.
The Dragons (4-3, 2-3) took over and got to midfield. On third-and-seven, quarterback Micah Passmore dropped back to pass and was flushed from the pocket. He found an opening to his left, sprinted through and was off to the races for a 47-yard go-ahead touchdown with 4:42 to play. James Swanson’s conversion run was stopped just short, but Warren held the 13-12 lead.
Jaxon Scrutchins returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Warren 45 to set McLane up with great starting field position. A defensive pass interference on second down moved the Lancers up to the Dragons 30. Iavarone-Campbell and Leehan runs moved it down inside the Warren 20. On third-and-eight, Leehan tried to hit Nate Jones in the corner of the end zone. The pass was well defended and Donovan Fiscus nearly came down with an interception. But the ball fell to the turf and McLane had one last chance.
Leehan dropped back, was pressured and rolled to his right. He lofted a pass to Ben Lipinski in the end zone, but Ryan Arnold was there to break it up and give the ball back to the Dragons offense with 1:35 to go.
Two Passmore runs gave Warren a first down and the celebration was on.
“Moving forward, the kids can gain confidence,” Morelli said.
Warren opened the game confidently by forcing a McLane three-and-out on the opening series. Arnold took a third-down handoff on the ensuing series 42 yards to the McLane 3 and, following a false start penalty, Swanson punched it in from eight yards out for a touchdown on his second carry back from a shoulder injury suffered during the Week 2 game at Fort LeBoeuf.
“I’ve been eager to get back,” Swanson said. “It’s been killing me not playing.”
Another three-and-out set the Dragons up with first down at the Lancers 33. Passmore missed a wide-open Arnold on a third-down pass and Warren sent kicker Wes Kiehl out to try a 45-yard field goal. The kick was short, and McLane seized momentum.
“We sagged a bit after the missed field goal,” Morelli said. “I just wanted some points there because we hadn’t been finishing drives lately.”
McLane went 80 yards in nine plays and Leehan hit Jones from 10 yards out to make it a 7-6 game with 42 second to play in the first quarter.
Passmore and Swanson were unable to connect on a pitch on the first play of the ensuing drive and the Lancers pounced on the loose ball. Four plays later, Leehan found Jones again, this time for a 27-yard scoring strike that gave McLane the 12-7 advantage.
Passmore and Swanson each finished with 17 carries. Passmore gained 126 yards, while Swanson finished with 104 and each had a score.
“Those were tough yards,” Morelli said. “Having James back with Micah gave us a nice 1-2 punch.”
“They couldn’t key on any one guy,” Swanson added. “The holes were big and we changed the offense a bit and messed with the middle linebacker’s reads.”
Iavarone-Campbell had 100 rushing yards, while Leehan had 74 on the ground to go with his 76 passing yards. Jones had three receptions for 52 yards and the two scores.
McLane returns home next week for a showdown with Franklin (2-5, 1-3).
Warren welcomes Corry to War Memorial Field next week. The Beavers are 3-4 on the year and coming off a 36-18 win over Fairview.
“We’ve got to build off this win,” Morelli said.
Score by quarters
General McLane 6 6 0 0–12
Warren 7 0 0 6–13
W–James Swanson 8 run (Sawyer Mohney kick), 8:02.
G–Nate Jones 10 pass from Matthew Leehan (Russell Wismer kick missed), 0:42.
G–Jones 27 pass from Leehan (Leehan pass incomplete), 10:19.
W–Micah Passmore 47 run (Swanson run failed), 4:42.
First downs 10 14
Total Net Yards 258 307
Rushes-yards 36-182 38-269
Passing 76 38
Comp-Att-Int 6-11-0 3-8-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 9-90 7-50
RUSHING–General McLane, Jared Iavarone-Campbell 19-100, Leehan 10-74, Jaxon Scrutichins 6-9, Dylan Sheeder 1-(minus 1). Warren, Passmore 17-126-1, Swanson 17-104-1, Ryan Arnold 4-39.
PASSING–General McLane, Leehan 6-11-76-2-0. Warren, Passmore 3-8-38-0-0.
RECEIVING–General McLane, Jones 3-52-2, Scrutchins 1-12, Ben Lipinski 1-8, Iavarone-Campbell 1-4.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–General McLane, None. Warren, Wes Kiehl, 45.