Comeback Effort Falls Short as Warriors Fall on Homecoming


John Kristofits

The Warriors run through the banner as the band plays “Cherokee”.

Allport- So far this season, the Warriors have had to play from behind. The only lead that they’ve had was late in the second half against Mo Valley, which was Week Two. That was not the case on Friday, as the Warriors received the opening kickoff and went to work. For the first time all season, the Warriors were able to effectively mix in both the run and the pass during the same drive. Will Herring scored from five yards out to put the Warriors on top. Sarah Betts nailed the extra-point to set the score at 7-0. Betts was 3-3 on the night.

West Branch took the lead and the momentum, but neither lasted long. The Trojans needed only one play to even the score, as the MU quarterback ran the ball 67 yards to the house. West Branch’s next two drives resulted in turnovers, as Gutierrez threw two interceptions. Mount Union took advantage of the first turnover and scored a few plays later, but Will Herring deflected a pass on 4th&7 deep in their own territory to prevent the second turnover from hurting the Warriors.

The Warriors were unable to produce anymore points in the first half, but they moved the ball all over the field. Drops and untimely penalties halted many drives that looked promising. The Trojans ran the ball into the endzone twice more in the half to notch the score at 27-7 as the teams went to the break.

The Trojans received the ball to start the second half. After a few plays, MU’s starting quarterback went down with a knee injury and did not return. With the injury, the Trojan offense looked completely different, and the Warrior defense capitalized. West Branch shut out Mount Union in the third quarter, and it looked as though a Warrior comeback was possible. Gutierrez hit Noah Hoffner deep down the sideline for a 70-yard score. The Warriors now trailed 27-14, and held all the momentum, as the game went to the final quarter. Both teams went back and forth trading possessions, until midway through the fourth when Mount Union finally was able to put an offensive drive together. With just under six minutes to go, the Trojans scored another rushing touchdown to put the score at 33-14. West Branch kept fighting, but it was too little-too late. Gutierrez found Trent Bellomy over the middle for an 18-yard score with 22 seconds left to put the final at 33-21.

Gutierrez finished the night with 323 yards and passed the 1,000-yard mark in just five games.

West Branch (0-5) travels to Everett (0-5) this Friday.


Score By Quarters

MU 14  13  0  6= 33

WB  7   0   7   7=21

Individual Statistics:


Ayden Gutierrez 17-of-48, 322 yds., 2 TD, 4 INT


Will Herring  15-81 (1 TD)

Ayden Gutierrez 8-21

Aidan Kephart 3-14


Noah Hoffner 7-186 (1 TD)

Trent Bellomy 5-65 (1 TD)

Eddie Dale 1-34

Camden Kopchik 2-25

Travis Rothrock 2-12