WARSAW — In a heart-pounding matchup that kept fans on the edge of their seats, Warsaw clawed back from a tied game with Northridge in the third quarter, 10-10, to secure a victory in the fourth.
This epic clash was huge for Northern Lakes Conference implications, as the game ended in a 24-10 Tiger victory, giving Warsaw a share of the conference title.
Head coach Bart Curtis was pleased with his team’s win.
“[We’re] excited that our kids got to hold a trophy at the end of the game,” Curtis said after being asked about the pressure of winning the conference.
“it’s been a long time coming,” he added.
The game started with Warsaw winning the toss. Soon the Raiders began to gain a few yards on the Tigers but were stopped and tackled by Nathan Rosas and pressured by Isaac Beam.
As Northridge began to press in on the 15-yard line, they gained a few yards and soon hit the 9-yard line, running for a touchdown and ending the first quarter with a 7-0 lead.
As the game progressed into the second quarter, both teams demonstrated their offensive prowess and defensive tenacity.
Both teams struggled to get anything going on either side of the 40 but Warsaw took a chance and Mason Smythe made a 36-yard field goal, changing the score to 7-3.
The Tigers then began to give Northridge some trouble as Cohen Heady and Daylor Vilamaa accompanied Nathan Rosas on the tackle to stop the Raiders from progressing further along the field.
Not long after that, fullback Reed Zollinger found the end zone for the first time in the game on a 40-yard carry to give his team a lead just before halftime.
This resulted in a nail-biting third quarter that locked the teams in a 10-10 tie after the Raiders kicked a field goal. The Tigers began by catching the first kickoff by the Raiders and going toward the 20-yard line. Drew Sullivan picked up some speed and carried the ball a bit farther gaining some yards for Warsaw.
Sullivan ran for 36 yards in the game.
The Tigers took the field at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. Isaac Beam, a senior on the Warsaw Team said, “I was hyped up, we could not lose, it was senior night.”
The fan-cheering moment that put the game in the Tigers’ hands was when Reed Zollinger began to gain several yards in benefit for Warsaw.
But, the excitement was short-lived as the tackles from the Raiders began to rain down.
But, that didn’t stop the Tigers as Zolllinger ran 4 tight yards, flipping the score to 17-10 and changing the tide for the rest of the game.
Warsaw would not trail again.
Warsaw got one final score in the fourth quarter as Zollinger scored his third of the game on a five-yard run. The senior finished with 211 yards on the ground. The dramatic comeback in the fourth quarter was a great example of resilience, grit, and unwavering determination from the Tigers and will be remembered for future co-conference matches.
The Tigers will be off next week before hosting Carroll for their sectional opener on Oct. 27.