Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Senior Julius Jones of Warsaw cuts back against the defense en route to scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday's home opener against Dublin-Coffman.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Senior Julius Jones of Warsaw cuts back against the defense en route to scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday's home opener against Dublin-Coffman.
The Warsaw Tigers captured the most anticipated season opener in years Friday night at Fisher Field with a convincing 49-23 victory, using a dominating rushing attack (520 yards) to mow the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks, a perennial Columbus, Ohio-area playoff qualifier.

Dublin Coffman, in an Ohio enrollment class equivalent to an Indiana Class 7A if the Hoosier state had 11 million people, marched into Warsaw with their preseason No. 14 ranking. Though the storied program struck paydirt on their first play, it was the Warsaw Tigers who outscored the Shamrocks 49-16 thereafter.

The 2021 version of the Wild Hogs, the offensive line’s moniker, used the power among Trace Stookey, Kyler Denney, Noah Chew, Kyle Dawson (a defensive starter in the two previous seasons), and Braden Rios to convincingly control the line of scrimmage. Their efforts resulted in the Tigers only having one running play for a loss.

Dublin Coffman’s passing game, with numerous overthrows to receivers getting behind the Tiger defensive backfield throughout the evening, was fraught with passing accuracy issues through most of the night as deep as five yards beyond the receiver.

Coffman senior quarterback Mason Maggs eluded tacklers with a 65-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. Instead of Warsaw regretting the deferral of the opening kick coin toss gave the suddenly silent crowd something to cheer about on their first series when Bryson Brown took a Tucker Curtis pitch 58 yards to paydirt.

The Tigers’ most notable stat was the punishing ground attack only picked up nine first downs, a strong indicator of the greatest number of big-play runs since Head Coach Bart Curtis, notching win 226 on his belt, took the helm of the Warsaw program in 2018.

Brown’s big run at 9:50 in the first period seemed to create a contagion of big-play score as Julius Jones (57-yard, and 79-yard TD runs, three scores in total), German Flores Ortega (57-yard TD run, two TDs for the night), and Tucker Curtis (75-yard quarterback keeper).

The Tigers had stalwart defensive efforts from Theo and Nick Katris, Aiden Binkerd, Luke Anderson, Jonny Burritt, and CJ Mendez, who snagged an interception on Coffman’s last gasp effort in a fourth-quarter drive.

Flores Ortega led the offensive charge with 20 carries and 258 yards at the B-back position. A-back, Jones added 166 yards on 8 totes, and signal-caller Curtis dashed for 162 yards on 12 carries.

The Tigers travel to Ames Field to face Michigan City Friday. Kick-off is 7:30 Eastern time/6:30 Central time.



Dublin Coffman (0-1)        10    6    0    7    23

WARSAW TIGERS (1-0)    7    21    7    13    49

SCORING

QTR    TIME        PLAY

1    11:48        DC    65 YD RUN MASON MAGGS     (Griffin Mercer kick)    DC 7-0

1    9:50        W    68 YD RUN BRYSON BROWN    (Mason Smythe kick)    7-7

1    :59        DC    35 YD FG GRIFFIN MERCER        DC 10-7

2    8:13        W    50 YD RUN JULIUS JONES        (Mason Smythe kick)        W 14-10

2    5:05        W    57 YD RUN GERMAN-FLORES ORTEGA  (Mason Smythe kick) W 21-10

2    2:53        DC    39 YD PASS MAGGS TO TREY HEDDERLY  (Mercer kick)        W 21-16

2    :30        W    12 YD RUN JULIUS JONES     (Smythe kick)                 W 28-16

3    ;19        W    79 YD RUN JULIUS JONES (Smythe kick)                W 35-16

4    11:05        DC    22 YD PASS MAGGS TO SAM MALONEY  (Mercer kick)    W 35-23

4    9:25        W    75 YD RUN TUCKER CURTIS (Smythe kick)            W 42-23

4    2:29        W    3 YD RUN FLORES-ORTEGA (kick failed)            W 48-23