WARSAW – The Warsaw football team had the heart to compete with undefeated Carroll Friday night.
The Tigers just didn’t have the manpower to stay with the fifth ranked team in Class 6-A in the Hoosier State.
A well-oiled Charger squad from Allen County sent Warsaw to the sidelines in sectional play for the second straight year.
Carroll turned the Tigers away early and then scored a plethora of points en route to a 40-3 win in a sectional opener at Fisher Field.
The physical Chargers, who controlled both lines of scrimmage, pounded Warsaw. Carroll, now 10-0, advances to play Homestead next Friday night in a sectional title game.
Warsaw, which lost 42-7 to the Chargers in the sectional championship contest in 2013, finishes its season at 5-5.
“They are just really well-coached and really fundamentally solid,” said Warsaw coach Phil Jensen of Carroll. “They just out physicaled us. They just kept pounding at us and we couldn’t get anything going on offense.
“I’m just really proud of our young men. We kept getting thinner and thinner (depth wise due to injuries late in the year) and they kept fighting. They represented their families, school and community very well, on and off the field this year.
“I’m super proud of our senior group this year. We only had 11 of them, but they are all first class young men.”
Warsaw, which entered play Friday night a perfect 4-0 at home this season, started strong. The Tigers took the opening possession and drove to the Carroll 15-yard line. But a sack and a holding penalty thwarted that scoring chance.
The Chargers wasted no time in taking control. The Carroll up tempo offense, driven by the hard running of junior Alex Anzeveno went 95 yards on its first possession. Junior quarterback Aidan Smith capped the impressive march with a one-yard touchdown run late in the opening period.
“We just can’t give up those scoring chances like we did on that first drive,” said Jensen.
The Tigers got a 30-yard field goal from Caleb Klusman in the second quarter to make it 7-3. The Chargers then got a three-yard touchdown run by Anzeveno late in the half and added a field goal after an interception just before intermission to make it 17-3 at halftime.
Carroll put the game away with three more scores in the third stanza. They took the opening possession 80 yards, capped by a beautiful 40-yard scoring strike from Smith to Eric Lauer to make it 24-3. Dylan Conner then scored on a four-yard run to make it 31-3 and Blake Schumacher returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the period to make it 38-3.
The Chargers dominated the time of possession as Anzeveno racked up 35 carries for 146 yards. Smith was 12-16 passing for 208 yards.
Warsaw, which managed just six first downs, had 23 carries for just 10 net yards. The Tigers had nine plays for negative yards in the game against a tough, aggressive front seven of the Chargers.
“We just couldn’t block them and they had a great game plan,” said Jensen. “They went to man coverage after our first drive, pressed us and got our receivers off their routes and came after our quarterback.”
“No. 24 (Anzeveno) is just solid. Strong legs and runs north and south.”
Senior quarterback Jake Mangas went 12-24 passing for 121 yards with two interceptions. Mangas set school single-season records this fall for attempts, completions and yards.
Jakub Wood had four carries late in the game for 36 yards for the Tigers.