Warriors Lose in Triple Overtime Thriller


Ayden Gutierrez, Author

Allport- There is a popular saying that goes, “Records are meant to be broken.” That statement came to fulfillment on Friday night, as running back Derek Yingling broke Terry Schake’s single season rushing record. Yingling went off for 238 yards, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors’ senior night went on to be spoiled, losing 41-40 in triple overtime. For the first time all year, West Branch started the game on defense, but they didn’t let that prevent them from getting things going early. A few plays into the ballgame, Yingling intercepted Northern Bedford quarterback Thad Leidy and took it deep into Panther territory. West Branch took advantage of the Panther mishap, as quarterback Ayden Gutierrez found wideout Josh Cantolina for a 9-yard touchdown to open the scoring.

Northern Bedford didn’t take much time after to get their own offense rolling, as they countered the Warrior scoring drive with one of their own. The extra-point, however, was off target, and West Branch led 7-6. Early on in the 2nd quarter, West Branch began to embark on another long drive. The Warriors had 2nd and goal from the eight yard-line. Gutierrez faked a hand off to Yingling, flipped his hips and fired to his right. The throw sailed his intended receiver, right into the hands of a Northern Bedford defender. The defender took off, going the distance for what seemed to be a 100-yard pick-6. Lucky for the Warriors, a block in the back penalty brought it back, so the touchdown didn’t count. Unfortunately for the Warriors, it didn’t matter, as the Panthers eventually scored during that drive. When they elected to go for two and converted the attempt, the Panthers went up 14-6.

Late in the first half, West Branch found themselves with a great opportunity to knot things up at 14. With under 20 seconds to go, Gutierrez rolled to his right and found wideout Eddie Dale at the 1-yard line. Dale was in the front corner of the endzone as he caught it, but the officials ruled that the ball never crossed the goal line.  The Warriors hurried to the line, and Gutierrez kept the ball and dove across the goal line for a touchdown with 5 seconds left. Kyle Godin’s extra-point attempt was no good, and the Warriors went into the locker room down 14-13.

“It was still anyone’s game with us only being down by one,” Eddie Dale said. “I knew we would have the momentum going into the second half after we marched down the field and scored late in the second quarter.”

West Branch came out of the break like a man possessed. The Warriors took nearly 6 minutes off of the clock while grinding out another scoring drive, putting themselves up 20-14. That score remained the same throughout the 3rd quarter and most of the 4th. West Branch found themselves with a chance to run away with the contest deep in the 4th. But, just like their other losses on the year, West Branch was unable to put the game away. The Warriors dropped three passes during the drive, and eventually turned the ball over on downs. Northern Bedford took advantage of the missed opportunity, and scored late to knot the score at 20. An extra-point would’ve put the Panthers up, but it was blocked. For the 2nd time this season, the Warriors were going to Overtime.

West Branch got the ball first, and on the first play of overtime Derek Yingling scored to put the Warriors up. The extra-point attempt was no good, but all the Warriors needed was a stop. As easy as that may sound, the Warriors were unable to do so, as NBC scored two plays later. The Warriors again blocked the extra-point, so a second overtime was on the horizon. NBC opened with the ball, and immediately scored. They elected to go for two, and it worked, putting the Panthers up eight. West Branch again relied on Yingling, and it payed off. Yingling scored the touchdown and 2-pt conversion to send the game to a third overtime. Again, Yingling scored to put the Warriors up, but this time the Panthers blocked the extra-point. The Panthers scored to tie it again, and finally an extra-point was made. Unfortunately for West Branch, they weren’t the ones who made it, and the Panthers began to celebrate a 41-40 victory.

The Warriors churned out 366 yards, while the Panthers earned 320.

West Branch (5-4) travels to Juniata Valley (7-2) this Friday to close out the regular season.




Score By Quarters

West Branch             7  6  7  0  6  8  6 – 40

Northern Bedford     6  8  0  6  6  8  7 – 41


Individual Statistics


Derek Yingling   38-238 ( 4 TD’s)

Ayden Gutierrez  5-20 ( 1 TD)

Aidan Kephart     1-10

Will Herring        2-3



Ayden Gutierrez 6-of-17, 95 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT



Derek Yingling 2-44

Josh Cantolina  2-25

Noah Hoffner    1-15

Eddie Dale        1-11