Warren evens record with win at Franklin
FRANKLIN — After a lackluster performance against Fairview a week ago, Warren pounded its way to a 36-7 Region 4 win at Franklin on Friday.
Running back Tommy Nyquist had 181 yards rushing and backfield teammate Ethan Senz added 115 combined rushing and receiving yards in the blowout win.
“This might have been our best game overall we’ve played all year,” said Warren coach Mark Morelli, whose Dragons are 3-3 overall and winners of three of their last four games. “Offensively, you’ve got to tip your hat to the line. They’ve been maligned the last couple weeks, particularly by me, for the penalties and the non-focus. … Tonight, they did a nice job of ball control. They did a nice job blocking. They did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage.”
Despite having the ball deep in Franklin territory, Warren didn’t put points on the board until the 1:28 mark of the first quarter. Nyquist’s 7-yard touchdown run was his first of two scores in the first half. Senz added a 14-yard TD run and Warren led 20-7 at halftime.
After the winless Knights (0-6) struck for a long touchdown from quarterback Hunter Marsteller to Cole Buckley before halftime, a Dragons’ fumble gave Franklin a chance to cut it to one score. Warren’s defense buckled down to force a missed field goal with eight seconds left in the half.
“The defense really picked it up,” said Morelli. “We put pressure on them all night.”
In the second half, Franklin went nowhere on the ground, rushing for negative-33 yards. Warren linebacker Nick Pennucci was a force with two tackles for loss and two sacks; the second sack combined with Ben Hoffman.
Franklin had another opportunity deep in Warren territory end with a fourth-down incompletion. Knights’ busy receiver Cole Buckley (11 catches) had the ball for a split second on the Warren 3-yard line before Lucas Douvlos’ hard hit knocked it free.
Warren ran down the clock in the second half with Senz carrying the ball 11 times and Nyquist eight. Sam Harvey finished off an early fourth-quarter drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Warren quarterback Eric Dippold was 5 of 7 passing in the second half, including a 20-yard touchdown strike to Cayden Wright midway through the fourth quarter to seal it.
Warren’s defense didn’t flinch — pushing Franklin back into fourth-and-43 and third-and-33 situations.
“We’ve got to find it within us, and tonight we seemed a lot more focused and a lot more tuned in to playing football,” said Morelli.
Warren is 2-1 in the region.
WARREN 36, FRANKLIN 7
Warren 7 13 0 16 — 36
Franklin 0 7 0 0 — 7
W–Tommy Nyquist 7 run, 1:28 (Gavin Rex kick)
W–Ethan Senz 14 run, 7:33 (Rex kick)
W–Nyquist 12 run, 3:12 (kick fails)
F–Cole Buckley 63 pass from Hunter Marsteller, 1:33 (#7 kick)
W–Sam Harvey 1 run, 11:54 (Cayden Wright PAT pass from Eric Dippold)
W–Wright 20 pass from Dippold, 5:39 (Senz PAT run)
Rushing: W–Nyquist 20-181, 2 TD; Senz 15-87, TD; Harvey 4-9, TD; Dippold 4-(5). F-Toby Sanchez 7-3; #28 4-(-21); Marsteller 6-(-31); #17 1-0; #1 1-(-3).
Passing: W–Dippold 9 of 13 for 91 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. F–Marsteller 18 of 26 for 192 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; #1 0 for 1 for 0 yards.
Receiving: W–Wright 3-34, TD; Johnny Corbett 3-20; Senz 2-28; Colin Shene 1-9. F–Buckley 11-144, TD; #90 3-36; #28 2-8; #4 2-4.