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Warren looks for first victory tonight at Franklin

Warren’s looking for a big turnaround on short rest.

Key word being “big.”

“We have been emphasizing line play,” said Warren football coach Mark Morelli, whose Dragons lost their opener, 28-0, at Conneaut on Monday. “We must improve. We go as far as our line takes us.”

Week 2 finds Warren at Franklin at 7 p.m. today.

Just playing the opener was a victory after a 14-day quarantine due to COVID-19.

“I am not in a habit of making excuses, that is out of character for me, but not having a scrimmage hurt us more than anything else,” said Morelli. “It is what it is. We knew going into that game where things stood. We made plenty of mistakes that are usually corrected early on.

“It was a 6-0 game with less than two minutes to go in the first half, still anyone’s game, then the momentum took a huge turn with two big plays by Conneaut,” he added. “We never got off the floor from that game-changing sequence that put us down 21-0 at the half. The No. 1 area our coaching staff was disappointed in was our lack of physical toughness.”

Morelli urged his Dragons to approach this season as an opportunity not to be taken for granted. That opportunity will be tested again five days later.

“Much like everything else that has gone on since July, we are being tested with adversity, how we approached this week and how we react will be the key,” said Morelli. “If our practices have been any indication, our squad is anxious to get back out there and redeem themselves.

To reiterate, Morelli said the key lies with the line.

“We made some personnel changes,” he said. “Our coaching staff was not happy with our play on the line of scrimmage. It may be a one-week change or a season-long change depending on how well our kids play. Two things stand out with Franklin: They have above-average size and they run the triple option, plus they have a dynamic playmaker in Cade Adams. They are 1-1, losing to Meadville but beating Titusville. If we learned from our mistakes in Week 1, we can hopefully make a better showing on Saturday. Learn from your mistakes and move on. We still have 4 or 5 games left in front of us. There were positives from that game. The defense had two fourth-down stops, recovered two fumbles. We did not turn the ball over on offense and the leg of Alex Zeigler punting was a positive development as our kicking game was a big question mark going into the game.”

“We are in good shape, maybe perhaps a few bruised egos,” said Morelli.

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