FOOTBALL: Total control: Dragons move to 3-0 with region win over Bradford
The Dragons had an answer for everything the Bradford Owls threw at them in Friday night’s Region 5 match-up at War Memorial Field.
Warren improved to 3-0 on the year with a 32-14 win over its rivals from McKean County, and now sits at 1-0 in Region 5 while Bradford drops to 1-2 overall with a 0-2 region mark.
“This was a great win for our team,” said Warren coach Greg Latimer. “We did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively. We had great performances from Geoff Stewart, Aaron Borger, and Matt Hultquist. Those guys really rose to the challenge.”
With help from the line, the Dragons offense rushed for 196 yards, 172 of which came Kyle Kulka. The junior running back finished with three of his team’s five touchdowns on the night.
“Kyle ran with great determination. He was patient, waited for the holes to develop, then kicked it into overdrive,” said Latimer. “Again, controlling the line of scrimmage was huge.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Bradford threatened with the ball deep inside Dragon territory, but a fourth-down conversion attempt was stopped dead by Borger, who met the Owls’ ball carrier in the backfield for a turnover on downs.
Warren made good use of the defensive stand, as Kulka punched in his first touchdown of the night from three yards out. The score held at 6-0 in favor of the Dragons after an errant snap negated the extra point attempt.
The Owls would make their way inside Warren territory one more time in the half, but D.J. Fehlman intercepted Bradford quarterback Zach Bartlebaugh’s pass and took the return to midfield before being pushed out of bounds.
Bartlebaugh returned the favor two plays later by picking off a Fehlman pass, but Geoff Stewart fell on a Bradford fumble shortly after to change possession once again.
This time, the Dragons took advantage.
A pass interference call gave Warren the ball on Bradford’s 16-yard line, and Fehlman scrambled down to the five for a first-and-goal with just under 20 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout to stop the clock, the junior quarterback went to his favorite target, Tanner Stanz, for a five yard touchdown pass to give the Dragons a 13-0 lead at the half.
Bradford received the kick to start half number two, and immediately put the ball in the hands of its junior running back Kyle Langdon. Langdon marched his team down the field on a long drive, and punched the ball in from the goal line to make it a one-possession game.
It took Warren all of two plays to answer.
After the ensuing kickoff, Fehlman found Stanz for a 36 yard gain, and Kulka busted off a 30 yard run for a touchdown and a 20-7 lead.
Kulka’s third score of the night came less than two minutes later, this time on a 70 yard dash from scrimmage.
Langdon found the end zone one more time early in the fourth quarter, but the Dragons struck back on their very first play of the next drive when Fehlman hit Ryan Shattuck with a 44 yard pass for his second touchdown of the night through the air.
Two consecutive Bradford drives ended in interceptions courtesy of Devin Nowacki and Ryan Shattuck, and the Dragons offense was able to run out the clock to secure the win in front of the home crowd.
Warren will look to remain undefeated next week, when it travels to Meadville for a Region 5 contest against the Bulldogs.
W-Kyle Kulka 3 yard run, 7:03; kick failed
W-Tanner Stanz 5 yard pass from D.J. Fehlman, 0:11; Ryan Shattuck kick
B-Kyle Langdon 1 yard run, 4:12; Zach McCammond kick
W-Kulka 30 yard run, 3:37; Shattuck kick
W-Kulka 70 yard run, 1:43; kick failed
B-Langdon 1 yard run, 10:16; McCammond kick
W-Shattuck 44 yard pass from Fehlman, kick failed
RUSHING-B – Kyle Langdon 30-198 2TD, Alex Colosimo 10-27, Rob Taylor 6-4, Zach Bartlebaugh 8-3, Tim Shuster 1-2; W – Kyle Kulka 13-172 3TD, Luke Wortman 4-12, D.J. Fehlman 7-10, Cody Gunn 1-2.
PASSING- B – Bartlebaugh 2-9-22 3INT; W – Fehlman 3-11-83 2TD INT.
RECEIVING- B – John Pantuso 1-14, Brandon McWilliams 1-8; W – Tanner Stanz 2-39 TD, Ryan Shattuck 1-44 TD.