VINCENT - On the scoreboard, the Warren Warriors beat the Marietta Tigers 35-7 Friday night.
But a second contest - between fans of both teams donating to the United Way of Washington County in the stands- was a lot closer.
Warren won that one too, but by just $1- $577 to $576.
The friendly face-off was part of the inaugural Washington County United Way Bowl, which served as the start of the United Way's annual fundraising drive. Donations by the Warren athletic boosters and local businessman Frank Christie on Marietta's behalf raised the total take to $1,729.
It was "one heck of a way to start off our annual campaign," said Al Miller, a United Way board member and chairman of the game.
Donations were collected through sales of T-shirts commemorating the game and donations collected by members of both schools' student councils. Warren student council Vice President Trent White said helping a good cause wasn't the only reason they were participating.
"We always want to win against Marietta - no matter what it is," said Warren student council Vice President Trent White.
The goal for this year's United Way campaign is to raise $266,000 to distribute among 18 organizations it supports, including EVE Inc., the Washington County Free Clinic, the Right Path for Washington County and the O'Neill Center.
Prior to kickoff, about 75 representatives of the United Way and some of the 18 agencies it supports marched on the track around the field.
"I think it's an opportunity for people to see what the United Way is," Miller said. "They see some of their friends and neighbors and (think), 'Oh, they're part of the United Way.'"
Fans of both schools said they liked the idea of tying the start of the United Way's annual fund drive to the game.