Warriors Score 32 Unanswered to Top Mounties


Image/Graphics by Carrie Peterson

Warrior Football

Ayden Gutierrez, Author

Philipsburg — Down 14-0 to rival Philipsburg-Osceola in the 3rd quarter, the Warriors seemed to be hanging on by a thread. That’s when Senior running back Derek Yingling broke free. After an unusual 17 first half yards, Yingling went off for 151 yards with three touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a Week 1 victory.

“I knew that once they went up 14-0 we needed to respond to get some momentum on our side,” Warrior running back Derek Yingling said. That’s exactly what the Warriors did, instantly answering Philipsburg’s scoring drive with one of their own, a 9-play, 65-yard effort. The Warriors did miss the extra point however, which left them facing an eight-point deficit. It looked as though the Mounties couldn’t be stopped, immediately marching right back down the field, but the Warrior defense buckled down and forced a turnover-on-downs inside their own redzone.

From that point on, it was all West Branch. The Warriors’ ability to dominate upfront and in the air on both sides of the ball began to be a task too big for the Mounties to handle. While Yingling carried the workload for the Warrior offense, Junior Quarterback Ayden Gutierrez was able to spread the ball across the field for the majority of the night. Gutierrez went 9-19 for 94 yards and a touchdown in his first varsity start at the position. Senior wideout Josh Cantolina reeled in 4 of those passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, while Senior tight end Gage Thompson was also a threat in the passing game, having caught two of Gutierrez’s passes for 21 yards.

As the Warrior offense began to work on all cylinders, their defense swarmed the Mounties on every snap. They sacked Mountie Quarterback Bubba Slogosky four times and forced three turnovers, with one being a game-sealing pick-6 from Cantolina late in the 4th. After trailing 7-0 at the half, the Warriors outscored the Mounties in the 2nd half 32-7.

“As a defensive unit, we knew our D-Line would be able to create pressure in the backfield, and we knew how they were going to attack us in the air. It’s a good feeling to know that we played man defense all night in the secondary and only surrendered one Touchdown through the air,” Junior Cornerback Eddie Dale said. Dale also snagged one pass from Gutierrez for 8 yards, and delivered a few clutch punts to pin the Mounties deep in their own territory.

In the end, the Warriors tallied 287 offensive yards, while the Mounties earned 205.

The Warriors home opener is this Friday against Moshannon Valley.