Article Watkins Memorial Warriors used strong defense to hand Brooke Bruins a 32-14 setback


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Traveling from Pataskala, Ohio to Wellsburg, West Virginia did little to slow down the Warriors as they made themselves right at home handing a very solid Brooke team a 25-point loss and dropping the Bruins to 3-2 on the season. Brooke had started the season 3-0 they have now suffered back-to-back losses, including a 35-6 beating by what looks to be a really good North Marion squad that is undefeated on the year. Watkins improves to 5-1 on the season, with their only loss to an undefeated Sheridan squad out of Thornville, Ohio.

Brook got things started with a 13-yard quarterback run from Braelyn Sperringer taking the ball down to the Warriors 25-yard line. Sperringer then hit the talented Anthony Bachinski for an 11-yard gain. The 7-play, 53-yard drive came to a climax on a 7-yard touchdown catch by Joshua Morris followed by the point-after try by Rocco Sacripanti to make this a 7-0 game with 7;38 left in the opening quarter.

The Bruins offense went back to work with 4:43 left in the quarter when Memphis McCoy broke a couple of tackles picking up 18 yards on another well-run passing play. Uncle Mo started to go on the Warrior’s side starting with a sack from John Banks Jr. resulting in an 11-yard loss.

The Warriors offense would get things going at the closing moments of the quarter when Andrew Kirk hauled in a pass from Drew Samsal picking up close to 18 yards and moving the chains. The drive continued into the second quarter where Samsal used his legs to pick up another twelve. The Bruins defense settled down allowing just a 37-yard field goal from Jody Katz to close the gap to 7-3 with 9:41 left in the half.

The Brooke defense would hang tough making two more big plays before the half ended. First, Tyler Wise stopped Jaden Ricketts for a 7-yard loss after Rickets made a catch, then on fourth and one Gerld Banks was stuffed for a two-yard loss on a fourth and one try.

Junior Cooper Hunt’s interception on a Sperringer pass at the 10:15 mark of the third quarter ignited the Warriors bench. The ensuing drive got off to a poor start with Samsal getting sacked by Chase Felouzis. The Warriors recovered nicely with a 16-yard touchdown run by Banks, who busted a couple of moves and broke a tackle to get into the endzone to make this a 10-7 game.

A sack by Sean Sheehan on Sperringer and a batted-down Samsal pass by Wise highlighted the play after the Warrior score then junior Connor French pounced on a backward pass from Sperringer to give the ball back to the Warriors. Defense ruled most of the quarter but the Warriors offense would find a way to score for the 2nd time in the quarter. A 19-yard completion to Ricketts helped set up a 2-yard touchdown catch by Kirk to give us a 16-7 score heading to the final stanza.

A bad snap would cost the Bruins when Victor Oliver fell on the ball in the endzone to put the Warriors up 23-7 with 7:11 left in the game. The Warriors defense would score again under a minute later with John Apel picking off a pass and returning it 25 yards for the score to give us a 29-7 score. Lincoln Welch kept things going for the Warriors defense when he got a pick with 5:46 left in the game. A 28-yard field goal by Katz made this a 32-7 game and helped get some confidence back to Katz, who had missed two point after kicks earlier.

Brook would get the final touchdown of the game when Sperringer found Bachinski for an 18-yard score to give us our final score of 32-14.

Some nice numbers from the Warriors’ defense, Senior Ayden Louks made a team-high 7 1/2 tackles. Oliver added 5 1/2 tackles, and Sheehan, John Banks Jr., senior Hunter Lowery, and sophomore Rocco Paschal each had a sack. Here are some more stats from this one for both teams.

Rushing: Watkins Memorial 26-90-td (Samsal 9-35; Banks 14-52-td; Apel 1-2, Long 1-2, Kellett 1-(-1)); Brooke 22-48 (Moore 13-29; B.Sperringer 5-2; T.Sperringer 2-13; Campinelli 2-4).

Passing: Watkins Memorial 16-29-87-td (all by Samsal); Brooke 18-30-210-2td-2int (all by B. Sperringer).

Receiving: Watkins Memorial 16-87-td (Kirk 4-19-td; Ricketts 7-40; Hulse 1-14; Apel 2-9; Banks 2-5); Brooke 18-210-2td (Bachinski 7-89-td; Palmer 5-82-td; Campinelli 3-23; Moore 1-3; T.Sperringer 2-7).

First Downs: Watkins Memorial 13; Brooke 13

Penalties: Watkins Memorial 10-72; Brooke 4-50

Fumbles: Watkins Memorial 0-0; Brooke 3-2

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