For The Daily Item
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT —
Warrior Run did some good things on Friday night at South Williamsport and when your team is 0-5, anything that is done well needs to be taken as a positive.
For example, the Defenders threw for over 200 yards as the passing game showed tremendous improvement from earlier in the season and Warrior Run ended up with over 300 yards of total offense while forcing South Williamsport to commit 12 penalties for over 100 yards.
Unfortunately for Warrior Run, those positives were all secondary to the Dominick Bragalone Show as the South Williamsport junior back ran for a new school record 324 yards and six touchdowns, which would have 369 yards and seven touchdowns had one not been called back due to a penalty - accomplishing nearly all of it in the first half alone - as the Mounties romped over the Defenders 63-28.
“We’re playing a lot of young kids and they’re growing up week-by-week,” said Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows. “You’ve got to hand it to South Williamsport. Bragalone is a heck of a back. It is what it is. We knew that was what we were going to get. Stopping him is a different story.”
The Defenders appeared to have some positive momentum on their first drive as they advanced 41 yards down to the South 24 in six plays after receiving the opening kickoff. But they were stopped on a 4th-and-3 at the South 23 and from there, Bragalone took the handoff on South’s first play from scrimmage, burst through a hole on the right side and went 77 yards for his first of six touchdowns.
“Everyone in the stadium knew he was going to get the ball,” said Burrows. “I can’t say enough about him. He does a great job and that kid has a bright future.”
Bragalone would find the end zone two more times in the first quarter and the Mounties took a 28-0 lead into the second quarter, later extending that to 35-0 on Bragalone’s fourth touchdown of the game, this one a 28-yard scamper with just over nine minutes to play in the half.
Warrior Run would score twice in the second quarter, the first on a nicely-thrown 22-yard pass from Hunter Raup to William Michael in the left corner of the end zone and the other on a Raup sneak with just a second left in the half. Those two scores were sandwiched around two more South touchdowns, however, including another long run by Bragalone, this time from 80 yards out with just under a minute left in the quarter.
That run followed a missed field goal from 39-yards out by Warrior Run’s Elias George that just barely missed sneaking inside the left upright.
Bragalone would put a cap on his night on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter as he went 47 yards for his sixth score of the night. Bragalone, who averaged over 20 yards per carry on the evening, went over 1,000 yards for the season on the night and how has 1,174 yards in just five games and on only 101 carries, an average of over 11 yards per carry.
Although down by over 40 points at one point in the contest, the Defenders continued to play hard for the entire game and ended with some positive momentum as second-string quarterback Frank James came in and found Jake Rohm for a 33-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline late in the fourth quarter.
“We’re banged up beyond belief but we just have to keep playing,” said Burrows. “We’re getting kids a lot of playing time. That’s a lot of experience for those freshmen and sophomores and hopefully one of these days it will pay off.”