Photos by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw head coach Bart Curtis talks to his team after last night's sectional championship loss at Homestead.
Photos by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Warsaw head coach Bart Curtis talks to his team after last night's sectional championship loss at Homestead.
ABOITE TWP – Indiana high school football teams conduct one of two activities on November Mondays: beginning another week of practice by advancing in the state tournament or turning in their football gear. The Warsaw Tigers football team will be turning in their football gear this Monday following Friday night’s loss to the Homestead Spartans 30-22 at Walters Memorial Stadium in the Class 6A Sectional 3 title game.

The Tigers opened the evening in vintage Bart-ball fashion with a 7:50, 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Juan Jaramillo’s four-yard end zone dive, leading 7-0.

Homestead, conversely, showed the spectators how quickly they could score. They answered instantly on a play-action fake by 6’3” senior quarterback Evan Ormsby who found a streaking Nate Anderson for a 79-yard score. They only needed 24 seconds to tie the score at 7.

Warsaw head coach Bart Curtis said, “When we took eight minutes off the clock to start the game and we go up 7-0 and (24) seconds later it’s tied, I thought what the heck! That’s deflating, but even after that when we able to come back and tie it up.”

The blue and gold added another score after the Tigers punted for the first time this postseason. Ormsby connected with junior slot receiver Gage Sparrow for an 8-yard touchdown pass on second and goal at the 8-yard line. At this point the Spartans had not even faced a third-down situation on any drive, and they now led 14-7.

Jaramillo, who finished his high school football career with over 2,800 yards rushing and 118 yards for the evening, scored his second touchdown with 42 seconds left in the first half to knot the score at 14-all. That drive resulted from a Mason Martz interception at the one-yard line. The three-year starter returned the errant pass to the 50 but a block in the back call brought the ball all the way back to the 11-yard line.

Warsaw handed the quick-hitting Spartans offense the ball with 42 seconds, and the victors answered by moving 42 yards in 41 seconds, setting up place-kicker Carter Dixon for a 35-yard tie-breaking field goal as time ran out sending the Tigers to the locker room trailing 17-14.

The Spartans would maintain that lead for good and boost it further with two consecutive third quarter scoring drives. This is their fifth sectional championship int eh last six seasons.

Homestead opened the third stanza eating almost as much time (5:08) as they possessed the pigskin in the entire first half (5:09 to Warsaw’s 18:51). Ormsby orchestrated a 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Sparrow for his second TD snare of the night with 6:52 left on the third period clock. The extra point kick failed so the hosts led 23-14 at that point.

In between those consecutive scores, the Tigers spotted an opportunity presented with a fourth-and-seven gamble a their own 23-yard line. The offensive staff saw a chance to exploit Juan Jaramillo breaking free on previous play action fakes. He was wide open again, but Max Schiltz, and undersized Spartan linebacker, leaped as high as he could with his hands in a perfect position to deflect what appeared to be a well-thrown ball by Aaron Greene.

Homestead, starting their drive in great field position, was faced with a fourth-and-two on the Tiger 15-yard line. Ormsby faked an option hand-off to his half-back, and Sparrow came racing around the left side of the Homestead line with no one near him as he raced to pay dirt. Sparrow’s output for the night totaled 6 catches for 67 yards, tow TDs through the air plus the aforementioned rushing score that increased the Spartans’ lead to 30-14 with 3:39 left in the third stanza.

Warsaw had another opportunity to strike back, moving the ball 42 yards to the Homestead before turning the ball over on downs with 11:55 remaining in the final frame.

The tenacious Tigers held off a Spartan drive as Nick Katris picked off another Ormsby pass. Nick is the twin brother and fellow defensive starter alongside sophomore Theo Katris; the two are light-heartedly known as the Katrii.

The Tigers again failed to convert on fourth down on the ensuing drive, chewing up 4:34 from the clock in the fourth quarter.  

Curtis commented on not converting these opportunities, something the Tigers are customarily efficient at doing.

“We didn’t make some crucial fourth down conversions and they did. Give credit to them. They deserved the trophy tonight. I thought we played hard enough to win a trophy, but we didn’t play well enough.”

The orange and black did not let up, as Curtis had alluded to their effort, and fought to within one touchdown when Greene connected on a 36-yard pass to Julius Jones, then capped off the drive with a seven-yard TD pass to four-year starter Luke Adamiec. The 6’4” split end caught a two-point conversion pass on a great fake slant followed by a fade move leaving him alone in the corner of the end zone, bringing the Tigers within a single score 30-22 with 1:27 left in the contest.

The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Homestead, who finished the evening with three victory formation snaps to clinch the contest. The victors totaled 309 offensive yards, 217 by air compared to Warsaw’s 336 total yards, 293 by ground.

Curtis commented about his opponents, “They’re a diverse offense. They’re well-coached defensively. They gave us some problems in the second half defensively.”

The 2020 Warsaw Tiger football squad has a bevvy of seniors who have been contributing since they were freshmen and sophomores, and many more who have been at least two/three-year starters.

“What a career some of these seniors have had! What a career! You go down the list, kids that made play after play for 2-3 years!” Curtis said.

These include Adamiec, Greene, Martz, Jaramillo, defensive back-receiver Caden Silveus, defensive lineman Andres Adame, linebacker Zach DeFord, Wild Hogs on the offensive line Dallas Anders, Jacob Hawn, and Izak Leach, hard-running and even harder blocking Patrick Zollinger, and fullback-kicker Colton Wampler.

Warsaw finished their 2020 campaign at 8-3 with a share of the Northern Lakes Conference championship. Homestead (10-1, #8 in the AP poll) will play Westfield (10-1) for the Regional title.

W -     7       7      0       8   - 22

H -    7     10    13      0   - 30

1ST Quarter

W – Juan Jaramillo 4 run (Colton Wampler kick) 4:10

H – Nate Anderson 79 pass from Evan Ormsby (Joe Dugan kick) 3:46


2nd Quarter

H – Ormsby 8 pass to Gage Sparrow (Dugan kick) 11:55

W - Jaramillo 1 run (Wampler kick) 0:42

H – Dixon 35 FG 0:00

3rd Quarter

H – Sparrow 14 pass from Ormsby (kick failed) 6:52

H – Sparrow 15 run (Dugan kick) 3:39

4th Quarter

W – Luke Adamiec 7 pass from Aaron Greene (Adamiec pass from Greene) 1:27