Dragons Battle Bulldogs for Top Spot in Region 5

83
Warren's Tommy Nyquist finds running room during Saturday's game against Harbor Creek. Photo by Cody Elms.

WARREN, Pa. – Warren and Meadville have a storied football history together and will add another chapter to that story when the two meet at War Memorial Field Friday with first place in Region 5 on the line.

Both the Dragons and Bulldogs are unbeaten so far in region play and the winner will be in sole possession of first place in Region 5 as the calendar turns to October. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Warren (3-1 overall, 3-0 Region 5) rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 47-29 win at Franklin last Saturday and returns to War Memorial after spending the last two weeks on the road.

Meadville (2-2 overall, 2-0 Region 5) evened its record with a 40-7 win at Harbor Creek and is playing its third straight road contest.

The Bulldogs deploy a trio of running backs who each have at least 40 rushes and are all averaging more than seven yards per carry.

Griffin Buzzell has run it 61 times for 453 yards and six touchdowns, Khalon Simmons has 52 totes for 500 yards and 6 scores and Brady Walker has 41 rushes for 302 yards and 5 touchdowns.

The running game’s success has meant Meadville hasn’t taken to the air much.

Quarterback Gavin Longstreth has attempted just 16 passes through four games. He has six completions for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Buzzell and Simmons each have three receptions for 63 yards. Simmons has both scores.

The Dragons have employed a more balanced offensive approach.

Sophomore quarterback Eric Dippold is 28-55 passing for 579 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He’s also run for a score.

Senior receiver Ben White has been Dippold’s top target with 10 receptions for 351 yards and five TDs. Tommy Nyquist has six grabs for 88 yards and a score and Gage Shaffer has four catches for 32 yards.

Nyquist leads the team with 54 carries for 424 yards and five touchdowns. Ethan Senz has run it 45 times for 259 yards and two scores.

Friday’s winner will have both a 1-game lead and a head-to-head win with only a few region games left in the season. Warren closes out its Region 5 schedule with a trip to General McLane on Oct. 1 and hosts Oil City on Oct. 8. Meadville hosts Conneaut and Franklin before a trip to Oil City on Oct. 15.