WARSAW – It was the same old story for the Warsaw football team Friday night.
The Tigers got excellent efforts in all three phases of the game to pick up another conference win.
The tried and true formula proved to work again as Warsaw blanked overmatched Goshen 24-0 in Northern Lakes Conference action at Fisher Field.
The hosts, coming off a huge win at Northridge last week, did not have a letdown versus the winless Redskins.
Warsaw got an outstanding effort from its defensive unit, another superb game from quarterback Jake Mangas and outstanding special teams play, including excellent efforts once again from its fantastic pair of kickers.
The Tigers, winners of three in a row, improve to 4-2 overall and go to 3-1 in the NLC. Goshen, which lost for the 19th straight time, drops to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in league action.
Warsaw shook off a slow start offensively to build a 24-0 halftime lead thanks to a stellar second quarter and then coasted home in the final half.
“Goshen is working hard and their coaches have great passion for the game, so we knew they would be ready to play tonight,” said Warsaw coach Phil Jensen. “They did a great job with adjustments. We then had to make adjustments to what they were doing.
“Our kids definitely were ready to go and took another step forwards tonight.”
It was another huge special teams play that lit the fire at the end of the first quarter for the Tigers.
Landan Perry, who had a huge interception return for a score in the win at Northridge last week, broke through to block a Goshen punt attempt to give the Tigers the ball at the Goshen one-yard line. With just 25.2 seconds left in the opening period, Ethyn Bradley busted in for the touchdown to make it 7-0.
The Tigers, who have now won seven in a row versus Goshen, got it going in the second stanza. Mangas, who set a single-game passing mark with 268 yards a week ago, lit up the airwaves. The smart signal caller hit Riley Rhoades for a 53-yard pitch and catch, highlighted by Rhoades taking the short pass and racing all the way across the field and down the sideline to make it 14-0.
Warsaw stretched the lead to 21-0 as Mangas connected with tight end Jeremy David on a beautiful 70-yard hookup on a seam route for a score with just 1:24 left until intermission.
Senior Caleb Klusman then boomed home a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to make it 24-0.
Mangas was simply sensational in the opening half as he went 10-17 for 213 yards. He was 7-10 for 196 yards and the two touchdowns in the second quarter.
The Warsaw defense was absolutely dominating Friday night. The duo of Caleb Wooldrige and Ben Plummer caused havoc all night long for the Redskins. The Goshen offense had 16 plays for negative yardage on the night, including seven sacks of quarterback Derek DeMeyer by the relentless Warsaw defense. Wooldridge led the way with three sacks.
“Our defense just flat out got after it tonight,” Jensen said. “They laid their ears back and did their thing.”
The Redskins managed a total of just 89 yards of offense on the night.
“Our kicking game and special teams were huge again. Caleb and Andrew (punter Andrew Mevis) kept them in their end of the field. We got a big blocked punt for the second straight week.”
Jensen also praised the work of Mangas, who only threw the ball seven times in the second half.
“Jake is doing a great job,” said Jensen. “He’s been fantastic. He has really taken to this offend. He is a smart young man and keeps his wits about him.
“We’re trying to have a controlled passing game, but we have 5-6 guys who can go the distance when they catch the ball. Our problem is that there are just not enough footballs to go around to everyone.”
Warsaw plays at county rival Wawasee (3-3, 1-3) and Goshen hosts Northridge in NLC action next Friday night. Wawasee lost 32-7 at Plymouth Friday night.