BUCKTOWN >> Owen J. Roberts faced a stiff test from the West Chester Henderson Warriors Friday night, but the Wildcats were able to win their third straight game behind their stout defense and strong running game on their way to claiming a 26-14 win.
Neither offense could muster much momentum early in the contest, combining for just 206 total yards and 13 points in the first half.
But big plays dominated the opening minutes of the second half, Henderson (1-2) opened the third quarter with their first completion of the game, a 36-yarder from Joe Saulino to Ian Tracy, setting up a 7-yard touchdown run from CJ Preston that gave the Warriors a 14-6 lead.
Owen J. Roberts (3-0) quickly answered on their next possession as Scherfel’s 44-yard run set up a Marcus Martin touchdown. However, the Wildcats were unable to convert their two-point attempt and still trailed, 14-13.
The Wildcats kept clawing back in the fourth quarter, opening up the period with an eight-play, 53-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Dawson Stuart. The subsequent two-point conversion gave Owen J. Roberts a 20-14 lead they would never relinquish.
“I thought that was a big drive, after they scored,” Owen J. Roberts coach Rich Kolka said. “We could’ve packed it in, but our guys didn’t and I was really proud of them.
“We overcame a lot of adversity during the game. That isn’t something we’ve had to deal with during our first two games.”
After forcing a three-and-out, Sean Praweckyj scored from 31 yards out, then intercepted a pass in the end zone to ice the game for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats’ offense was led by Scherfel’s 80 rushing yards and quarterback Dawson Stuart, who finished the day with 127 passing yards, 67 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“(Scherfel) struggled last week too, but he really did a great job,” Kolka said. “Resiliency is what we preach and his performance tonight really shows that.”
“In the second half, the holes just seemed to open up and I ran through them,” Scherfel added.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats remained stout throughout the game, holding Henderson’s high-powered rushing attack to just 54 yards on 31 attempts.
“They came out running their midline-option offense,” Kolka explained. “We were a bit surprised by that, but we were able to make an adjustment.”
Saulino finished the game as the leading rusher for the Warriors, picking up 33 yards and adding 97 through the air.