Photos by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw senior Patrick Zollinger shakes off a tackle attempt by Carroll's Wade Stienbarger during the second quarter.
Photos by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Warsaw senior Patrick Zollinger shakes off a tackle attempt by Carroll's Wade Stienbarger during the second quarter.
WARSAW – Two brutally efficient offenses whose combined scoring average was 80 points per game battled Friday night at the Tiger Athletic Complex in the IHSAA Class 6A Sectional 3 semifinal.

The Carroll Chargers, whose potent passing attack affords them minimal time to run up an average of 47 points per game, threw three interceptions and coughed up a fumble to the host Warsaw Tigers, who emerged victorious 42-35, and advanced to the Sectional finals.

The game was a seesaw contest with contrasting offensive playing styles; Warsaw’s ball control grinding triple-option attack versus Carroll’s aerial attack, with junior quarterback Jeff Becker coming into the contest accounting for 90% of the guest’s total offense.

The Tigers scored on six of seven offensive possessions, outgained their guests in total yardage 509-354, but did not take the lead until senior A-back Patrick Zollinger darted seven yards to paydirt to put the orange and black up 35-28  with 6:69 remaining in the final frame.

Zollinger, a 5’7” 175 powerhouse whose speed makes first contact a big problem for tacklers who underestimate him, had his best career game in a Tiger uniform. Known for his blocking, and an occasional long perimeter run off an option pitch, Zollinger had three big runs setting up Tiger touchdowns while rushing for two of his own scores, and racked up 133 yards on 9 carries for the evening.

Warsaw Head Coach Bart Curtis, who picked up his 225th career win, said of the back with the blue-collar work ethic, “Tough kid. He doesn’t go down easy, and he’s deceivingly fast.”

The Tigers twisted the dagger in the Chargers after senior Luke Adamiec snared his second interception of the night sixteen seconds after Zollinger’s go-ahead score. Adamiec ran stride for stride, doing what he has done for four varsity seasons, catching anything within his reach. The 6’4” senior safety/split-end looked like the eligible receiver on the pattern run by Carroll’s 1,000-yard receiver Mason Englert. The Tigers took over and scored the way they almost always score, with a 5:08 grinding, run-powered drive capped by senior quarterback Aaron Greene’s second TD, a seven yard option keeper to put the Tigers further ahead 42-28. Greene led all rushers with 167 yards on 32 totes, 1-3 passing for 14 yards, and an interception while playing a half-ending situational defensive role.



The evening was statistically remarkable, the Tigers’ near-record 495 ground yardage notwithstanding.



The Chargers racked up 228 passing yards and 126 rushing yards among 38 plays with only 8:22 total time of possession for the contest.



Warsaw’s third triple digit rusher, senior B-back Juan Jaramillo, gained 145 yards and scored one TD. Julius Jones added 57 yards on 10 rushes, scoring one touchdown.



Curtis commented about the win, “I’m pleased with our kids, happy for the community. We beat a really good team.”



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Warsaw (8-2) will wait for the IHSAA to determine if it will host the defending Sectional 3 champs, the Homestead Spartans, due to the Fort Wayne area’s pandemic restrictions on hosting events with fans in attendance.



C -     7    14     7      7   - 35

W -    0    21     7    14   - 42



1ST Quarter

C – Jeff Becker 1 run (Sebastian Lopez kick) 9:28        

2nd Quarter

W - Aaron Greene 31 run (Colton Wampler kick) 10:23

C – Luke Carmody 6 run (Lopez kick) 8:51

W – Patrick Zollinger 5 run (Wampler kick) 4:39

C – Mason Englert 58 pass from Becker 4:32

W – Julius Jones 5 run (Wampler kick) 0:19



3rd Quarter

C – Becker 13 run (Lopez kick) 7:15

W – Juan Jaramillo 2 run (Wampler kick) 0:33



4th Quarter

W - Zollinger 7 run (Wampler kick) 6:59

W – Greene 7 run (Wampler kick) 1:35

C – Jameson Coverstone 8 pass from Becker (Lopez kick) 0:18