It wasn’t easy, but Warren Central (Indianapolis) got the season started off with a win and gut check to boot.
The Warriors, ranked No. 21 in the USA TODAY Super 25, broke a 14-14 tie with a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, then held on, giving up two points on a safety but continually thwarting a Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) offense robbed of top running back and wide receiver Titus McCoy, an Indiana Mr. Football candidate who left the game in the first quarter due to an apparent ankle injury.
The final score was 21-16 as the Warriors avenged losses in the regular season and regional playoffs to Center Grove last year.
“I read my keys and saw the fullback come out,” Tutsie said. “I rallied to it. I envisioned myself making that play all week.”
The victory was a testament to Warren Central’s stout defense, particularly on the defensive line. After staking Center Grove to a 14-7 lead in the first half, Warren Central’s defensive line transformed into a three-and-out machine, killing off any momentum the Trojans had built and biding time for an eventual game-tying touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Summeier to David Bell to set the stage for Michael Tutsie’s game-winning return.
Warren Central will be back in action at Cincinnati power Colerain, ranked No. 7, next Saturday in an interstate showdown. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.