Dawgs Finish Home Schedule with Win Over Bradford

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Warren's Tanner Stuart breaks away from a Bradford defender on his way to a touchdown. Photo by Mandie Englert.

SHEFFIELD, Pa. – The Warren Dawgs spotted the Bradford Raptors six points, but pulled away to wrap up their home schedule with a 25-12 win on Wolverine Mountain Sunday.

The Dawgs got off to a rough start in the first quarter with two early interceptions by Tanner Stuart, one of which was returned for a Raptors touchdown. Grant May lost a fumble on a botched exchange keeping the Dawgs’ offense off the field. However, the Dawgs never wavered, as the defense remained strong and kept the game at 6-0 near the end of the first quarter.

Stuart gave the Dawgs’ offense a spark on a 25-yard run on a scramble to flip the field. The Dawgs’ offense got knocked backward on consecutive plays before Stuart broke free for a 49-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 6-6. The extra point attempt was no good.

The Dawgs’ defense retook the field and again held strong against a league-leading Raptors offensive attack.

The Dawgs’ offense again leaned on their quarterback on a designed bootleg, as he broke four tackles en route to a 62-yard touchdown run to pull ahead of the Raptors 12-6 with 48 seconds left in the first half.

After deferring the coin toss to begin the game, the Raptors’ offense got the ball to start the second half facing a deficit but were unable to gain any momentum against a resilient and aggressive Dawgs defense.

The Dawgs and Raptors took turns exchanging possessions on several strong defensive stands by both teams. Stuart and defensive end Chase Raub added a sack apiece in the third quarter as they held the Raptors’ offense scoreless in the third quarter.

A host of Warren Dawgs’ defenders stop Bradford on fourth down. Photo by Mandie Englert.

Owen Damcott, Clayton Hammerbeck, and Chase Raub combined for a forced fumble on a gang tackle, which was recovered by Stuart. On the ensuing play, Stuart ran on the outside to the right for a 30-yard touchdown, his third of the game to pull ahead 18-6.

The relentless Dawgs defense held true to form and held the Raptors offense scoreless on the next possession. Connor Smith came in for Stuart at QB and scampered 20 yards to the left untouched for a touchdown in the waning moments of the game to pull ahead 24-6. On the extra point attempt, Smith again kept it himself, broke contain to the left, and ran in the extra point attempt to make it 25-6.

With under four seconds remaining, the Raptors running back ran for a long touchdown as time expired to finalize the score 25-12, as the Dawgs topple the Raptors and their high-octane offense in a mid-September grinder.

Tanner Stuart finished with 235 rushing yards with his three touchdowns, while Grant May added 51 yards rushing, Connor Smith put up 40 yards rushing to go with his touchdown and extra point run, and Nate Harris tacked on 33 rushing yards as eight different ball carriers toted the rock for a total of 374 yards on the ground. Stuart led the defense with 14 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery while Chase Raub had 6 six tackles, and 1 sack and combined with Owen Damcott (2 tackles) and Clayton Hammerbeck (2 tackles) to force a fumble. Other defensive contributors include Jeremiah Lyon (5 tackles), Grant May (4 tackles), Blake Peterson (4 tackles), Nate Harris (4 tackles), Liam Frederoski (4 tackles), Wesley Stevens (3 tackles), Collin Havers (3 tackles), and Bentlee Moore (2 tackles).

The Warren Dawgs (4-1) move into second place and secured a playoff berth in their inaugural season playing in the Olean Area Youth Football League. The Dawgs face off against the Port Allegany Gators before wrapping up the regular season against the 1-seed Coudersport Falcons.