Wildcats use running game, not magic, to defeat Wizards

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

    WARWICK - Matt Stranski rushed for 128 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead the Warwick Wildcats to a 26-7 victory over the Washingtonville Wizards at C. Ashley Morgan Field. The win puts Warwick in sole possession of first place in the division with a 3-0 mark. They can clinch the championship next week with a win at Valley Central. Washingtonville needs to hope for a Warwick loss and then defeat FDR at home the following week to create a three-way tie-breaker if they want a shot at the title. Warwick won the toss and elected to kick off to the Wizards, who went three downs and out. Warwick took over at its own 14 and Stranski, a junior, carried the ball three straight times to get a first down at the 25. Senior running back Derek Hrinya then broke out on a 13-yard run to move the chains to the 38. Warwick sent sophomore wide receiver Isia Reyes out on the next play to corral quarterback Ryan Darcey’s 62-yard pass-and-run touchdown. Junior John Sala’s point after attempt was blocked, so with 7:50 left in the first, Warwick led 6-0. The teams both went the next two possessions without scoring, but the Wizards made a costly mistake on their ensuing drive. The tough Wildcat defense caused junior Billy Dolson to fumble deep in his own zone, where Warwick fell on it at the Washingtonville 21. Two plays later, Hrinya made it first-and-goal from the seven with another great run to the outside. Hrinya then got his sixth TD of the season on the next carry with 10:20 left in the second. The conversion run failed, so the score stood at 12-0 Warwick. Senior defensive end Adam Washington recovered a Wizard fumble on the next series for Warwick, but the Wizards held and took over on their own 38. A couple of plays into the drive, quarterback Kevin Foley hit senior Mike Bernstein with a 21-yard pass to bring the ball down to the Wildcat 25. Two plays later, running back Taylor McGinnis recorded a first down at the 14. At this point, the Wildcat defense stiffened, and the Wizards were forced to attempt a 37-yard field goal by senior Christian Dunnigan. The kick fell short. The score stood at 12-0 going into halftime. At this point, Hrinya had earned 77 yards on 10 carries. Washingtonville, on the other hand, could not get its offense going against the Warwick defense. The teams traded possessions to begin the third quarter and coach Greg Sirico’s Wildcats then struck again. Stranski ran for a first down to his own 37, a play that had five more yards assessed on a face mask penalty against Washingtonville. Stranski then busted through the middle for a 58-yard touchdown, his fifth of the year. Junior Tom Montopoli ran in the two-point conversion, giving Warwick a 20-0 lead with 5:53 left in the third. The Wizards answered back on the next series. On a fake punt, Dunnigan threw a 35-yard pass to senior Zach Bernard, getting a first down at the Warwick 25. After getting another first down, the Wizards’ drive began to stall as they faced a fourth-and-six from the Warwick 13. Foley then hit receiver Duralle Cromwell with a TD pass at the 2:51 mark of the third. Senior Matt Krenski kicked the PAT, cutting the Washingtonville deficit to 20-7. When the Wizards got the ball back they committed another costly turnover. Foley fumbled deep inside his own zone and Warwick recovered on the nine. This came down to fourth-and-goal from the one, where Stranski jumped over the Wizards’ defense to break the plane. The conversion run was thwarted, so the score stood at the 26-7 mark with 8:37 left in the game. Hrinya finished with 102 yards on 16 carries. Warwick netted 313 total yards, 251 of which came on the ground. Foley ran for 52 yards to pace Washingtonville, while McGinnis rushed for 38. The Wizards earned a total of 131 yards rushing and 73 yards via aerials. Washingtonville falls to 5-1 overall, 2-1 in AA-2. They play a non-league game at Goshen next week. Warwick improves to 4-2 overall, 3-0 in AA-2. The game at Valley Central next week begins at 7 p.m. Friday.