Mistakes prove costly as Warriors lose to Everett


Image/Graphics by Corrin Evans

The Warriors march onto the field ahead of their matchup against the Warriors of Everett.

Ayden Gutierrez, Author

Allport- The Warriors of West Branch fell to the Warriors of Everett 34-28 in a muddy, overtime thriller on friday night. West Branch got off to an unfortunate start, as quarterback Ayden Gutierrez threw an interception on the third play from scrimmage. After forcing Everett to a turnover-on-downs, West Branch went three and out and punted the ball away. Everett then scored via a four play, 57 yard drive. After the extra-point attempt fell short, Everett led 6-0. West Branch looked as though they were going to finally put a drive together, but Gutierrez fumbled a snap and Everett recovered. West Branch finally found the endzone at the end of the first quarter, as Gutierrez rushed in from 3-yards out. Kyle Godin’s extra-point was good, and even after their sloppy first quarter, West Branch led 7-6.

West Branch kept that momentum rolling right into the second quarter, as running back Derek Yingling made perhaps the play of the year. Yingling got the handoff and bounced to the right side. After stiff arming a defender to the ground, Yingling went into his bag of tricks and pulled out a Saquon Barkely esque hurdle, completely clearing the Everett corner. Yingling landed on his feet, turned on the jets, and ran 70 yards to the house. A roar of cheers and applause broke out at L.T Drivas Memorial Field, as everyone was clueless as to how Yingling pulled that off.

“It kind of just happened,” Derek Yingling said. “I didn’t tell myself to jump over him, it was just a reaction.”

Everett scored late in the half, but failed when they tried a 2-pt conversion instead of kicking the extra-point. West Branch went into the half leading 14-12.

West Branch started the 2nd half by kicking off. However, rather than kicking it deep, the Warriors shocked everyone and went for an onside kick. Everett was caught off guard, and West Branch easily recovered. The momentum was all on the West Branch sideline.  Unfortunately, that momentum quickly dwindled away. After some confusion caused an early snap, Gutierrez again was intercepted just three plays after the onside kick.

Gutierrez redeemed himself on the next drive, as he connected with wide receiver Josh Cantolina for a 63-yard touchdown. A bad snap led to the extra-point being no good, so West Branch led 20-12. Everett went on to score 16 straight points to put themselves up 28-20. West Branch responded with time running out in the fourth quarter, as Yingling rushed in both the Touchdown and 2-pt conversion to knot things up at 28. Everett quickly began marching down the field, looking as though they may score before time ran out. With under a minute to go, cornerback Noah Hoffner intercepted the Everett quarterback to send things to overtime.

West Branch won the coin toss and elected to play defense first. Everett wasted no time in making their offensive drive worthwhile, as they scored on the first play in the extra period. Everett again elected to go for two, but they failed to convert. West Branch trailed 34-28 with one more chance to score and possibly win the game. The Warriors didn’t gain a single yard on the first two plays, leaving them facing a 3rd and Goal from the 10-yard line. Gutierrez rolled to his left and found Cantolina in the back corner of the endzone, but he was ruled out of bounds. With one more shot, Gutierrez again looked for Cantolina, but the pass was deflected and Everett went on to spoil Homecoming, winning by a final score of 34-28.

“We need to focus on the little things and clean up our mistakes,” linebacker Andrew Dawes said. “We made so many little yet crucial mistakes tonight that ended up costing us, and with another good opponent coming up, we have to get them fixed.”

West Branch (4-2) hosts Bellwood-Antis (5-1) this Friday.




Score By Quarters

West Branch     7  7  6  8  0

Everett              6  6  8  8  8


Individual Statistics


Derek Yingling  28-171 (2 TD’s)

Will Herring       4-0

Ayden Gutierrez  4-6  (1 TD)



Ayden Gutierrez  10-of-22, 218 yds., 1 TD, 2 INT’s



Josh Cantolina     4-120 (1 TD)

Gage Thompson  1-15

Derek Yingling    2-29

Noah Hoffner      2-35

Will Herring        1-17