WARREN-The inaug ural United Way of Washington County Bowl game between Marietta and Warren started out close, but the host Warriors were able to pull away in the second half and win 35-7 to earn the trophy cup at Warrior Field Friday.
Although the two teams are now in two separate leagues, it is still a very intense rivalry.
"Anytime you've got teams this close, it's always an intense game," said Warrior head coach Andy Schob, who was doused in water at the end of the fourth quarter. "There's always a great crowd for this game. We really had to come out and play well, especially after losing last week."
It wasn't a great start for Warren, as Marietta got on the board first in the second quarter. After a 19 yard completion from Anthony Kimbrough to Connor Beavers gave the Tigers a first down at the Warren 45, Kimbrough hit Grae Setterstrom on a slant and Setterstrom broke it up the sideline for the touchdown. Kyle Bronski added the PAT to give Marietta a 7-0 advantage with 11:21 left in the second quarter.
Warren answered later in the quarter. Quarterback Dylan Leffingwell attempted a long pass to Andrew Vincent that was incomplete, but pass interference was called on the Tigers. Warren would get the ball all the way down to the 6, where Leffingwell hit Austin Kuhn up the right sideline and Kuhn ran it in for the score. The PAT attempt sailed wide right to make the score 7-6 in Marietta's favor with 3:36 left in the second.
When the Tigers got the ball back, Kimbrough went back to work. After hitting Connor Beavers on a 24 yard pass, Marietta was called for holding to set up a 3rd and 30. Kimbrough dropped back, and with a perfect pocket, delivered a strike to Beavers again, this time for 66 yards to put the ball at the 4 yard line. After a false start put the ball at the 9, Warren forced a fumble to end the threat, and take the game into halftime.
Marietta head coach Adam Eichhorn pointed to this play as a momentum changer.
"In the first half, we had a chance to punch one in going into the locker room," Eichhorn said. "That kinda took a little momentum from us. The second half was a tale of turnovers. Anytime you have a pick-six, and interceptions, it takes you out of rhythm."
Coming out of the half, Warren forced a Marietta punt, and was able to drive inside the Marietta 1 yard line, where Leffingwell sneaked in for the score. Leffingwell then hit Jake Scott for the two-point conversion to put the Warriors up 14-7.
After the kickoff, Kimbrough was picked off by Jake Powell for a 21 yard score. The Warriors went for two again, this time on a fake kick, and David Ryan hit Zack Henthorn for the successful attempt to give Warren a 22-7 advantage.
The Tigers moved the ball well on their next possession, but it came to a halt on a Rodney Barnes pick of Kimbrough. Kimbrough had gains of 13 and 17 yards before the interception.
After the teams traded turnovers on downs, Warren got another interception, this time by Andrew Henthorn. With the ball at the Marietta 39, a 30 yard run by Scott set up Kuhn for the nine yard touchdown. Chas Miller converted the PAT to put the Warriors up 29-7 with 9:25 left in the fourth.
The final points of the game came on a fourth and goal attempt for Warren. From the 6 yard line, Leffingwell hit Kuhn for the score. The PAT was blocked to make the score 35-7 in Warren's favor, which is how it ended.