COUDERSPORT, Pa. – In a battle of top defenses, the Warren Dawgs held fast to come away with a 12-6 win at Coudersport to claim the Olean Area Youth Football League Championship on Saturday.
With 1:17 to play and the Dawgs clinging to a 12-6 lead, the Falcons’ quarterback dropped back to pass. Chase Raub came free and laid a hit that forced an errant throw. Nate Harris’ diving interception gave the ball back to the Dawgs and Connor Smith kneeled on it twice to secure the league championship.
The Dawgs avenged both of their regular season losses with playoff wins over Smethport in the semifinals and Coudersport in the finals to win the league title in their inaugural season as part of the OAYFL.
The Falcons and Dawgs came in as the top two defenses in the league and showed why from the start.
Warren’s run-first offense was held to several three-and-outs to start the game. Tanner Stuart connected with Bentlee Moore for 62 yards on the Dawgs’ first pass of the game to get down to the Falcons’ 1. Collin Havers punched it in a few plays later to give Warren a 6-0 lead.
That score would hold until halftime.
The Falcons drove down the field to start the second half and a 3-yard TD tied the game at 6-6.
Stuart answered with a 65-yard touchdown run to give Warren the 12-6 lead.
Coudersport turned to the air attack as the game wound down. The Falcons moved down the field, but took a chance on fourth down with five minutes to play. Owen Damcott stepped in front of the Falcons’ pass for his first career interception and the Dawgs took over.
The Falcons forced a three-and-out to set up the game’s final drive.
Stuart finished with 109 yards and a touchdown rushing and 62 yards passing. Havers had 21 rushing yards and a touchdown, Grant May added 27 rushing yards, and Damcott added two yards on the ground. Moore had one catch for 62 yards.
The Dawgs finished with 159 yards rushing and 62 yards passing on only two passing attempts for 221 total offensive yards in a defensive battle. The offensive attack was led by Harrison Horner, Brody Connolly, Johnathan Sullivan, Noah Pape, and Owen Young starting along the offensive line with Isaiah Cook and Scott Skidmore playing valuable reps throughout the game.
Defensively, Stuart had 22 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Jeremiah Lyon finished with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. Damcott had 9 tackles and an interception. Blake Peterson added 8 tackles and May had 7 tackles. Moore posted 6 tackles and 2 pass deflections, causing the Falcons to stop throwing his way as the game wore down. Harris finished with 5 tackles and an interception. Havers had 4 tackles. Raub and Clayton Hammerbeck posted 3 tackles apiece. Wesley Stevens Jr., Noah Pape, and Liam Frederoski each had 1 tackle apiece.
The Dawgs received an escort both out of town and back into town as league champions. Videos courtesy of Warren County Youth Football League Facebook page.
The escort was provided by North Warren VFD, Pleasant Township VFD, Glade Township VFD, Sheffield VFD, City of Warren FD, and Warren City PD.
The Warren Dawgs will be represented in the “Little 30” game in Cameron County on Oct. 22 by Grant May, Collin Havers, Bentlee Moore, Nate Harris, Connor Smith, and Wesley Stevens Jr. Tanner Stuart was selected, but will not be playing due to an injury sustained in the championship game.
The Warren Hogs will be represented by Tucker Sanford, Parker Kiser, Wyatt Wilson, Cooper Nobles, and Gaven Mealy. Thayne Gourley was also selected but was unable to participate due to availability.