WARRENSBURG - Warrensburg's late-game comeback effort didn't overcome the solid play of Bishop Gibbons during a football matchup Sept. 25, on the Burgher home field.
The result was a 16-12 loss for Warrensburg, which was beginning to get into a groove this year of scrappy defense, explosive offensive plays and thrilling action from their special teams.
Strong defense from both teams resulted in a low-scoring game that could have yielded a win for either team.
The Burghers drove the ball to just within the 10-yard line with 42 seconds left in the game, but the flypaper Bishop Gibbons passing defense snagged an interception that ended both the Burghers' turnaround attempt and the game.
Responding to a three-yard touchdown run by Bishop Gibbons' Johnny Villanueva in the second quarter, Warrensburg scored a touchdown with a six-yard pass from Mike Curtis to Zach Baer.
While Bishop Gibbons led the Burghers 8-6 at the half, the Burghers opened up the second half with a savvy special teams play that fired up the crowd.
The Burghers booted an onside kick player Matt Boodman recovered, leading to a relentless drive capped off with a touchdown on a three-yard run by Lucas Nelson. But Bishop Gibbons fought back with a solid drive featuring a 54-yard run by Villanueva and a two-point conversion, giving Bishop Gibbons the lead for good.
Bishop Gibbons racked up 235 yards on 37 carries, with Villanueva carrying the ball 24 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Warrensburg tallied 118 yards on 35 carries, led by Curtis with 83 yards on 20 plays, followed by Nelson with 22 yards on nine carries.
Warrensburg's air play smothered Bishop Gibbons, as they threw for 143 yards gained to Bishop Gibbons' 36. Nelson led all receivers by a wide margin with 60 yards. Kalvin Duell and Nelson each had an interception, while Adam Langworthy and Desmond Allen each had two sacks for the Burghers.
Both teams avoided fumbles, and observers were pleased the Burghers were holding onto the ball considering past problems in this regard.