LUTZ- Weather affected the Steinbrenner Warriors (1-2) as they lost their first district game to the Sickles Gryphons (3-1), 15-7.
“It was a tough game,” said Warrior head coach Andres Perez-Reinaldo “We gave it our all against a tough opponent in Sickles and in the end it just was not enough.”
The Warriors gave Sickles more than they asked for in Friday night’s game by keeping the score close throughout the night. Weather seemed to help the Warriors extremely as it slowed down a high-powered Sickles offense led by senior running back RayRay McCloud III. The Warrior defense had made many key stops on third and fourth downs and accumulated four forced turnovers, including a fumbled punt recovered by junior defensive end Patrick Lukert and a late interception by sophomore free safety Josh Edwards late in the fourth quarter. Penalties were a reoccurring problem on the evening as many penalties led to either Sickles points or poor field position for the Warriors including two penalties on the Edwards interception which gave the Warriors the ball at their own 40 yard line instead of the Gryphon 30 yard line.
Although a strong defensive performance was a boost in Steinbrenner’s confidence, the Warrior offense was stopped short of a score on multiple occasions throughout the evening. The Warrior offense was led by senior quarterback Quentin Poteralski, who threw for 144 yards on 11-23 attempts. Poteralski made many key plays on the evening but it was not enough for the Warriors to finish off their drives and put points on the board. The Warriors were hindered by three failed fourth down conversions including a stop on the goal line late in the third quarter. Also due to the weather conditions, the Warriors dropped a number of passes in the game including one on the final drive which would have given the Warriors a third and short instead of a third and long with 0:48 seconds remaining in the game.
“In the coming bye week we have to go back to fundamentals to make sure that we are prepared for our next game against Tampa Bay Tech,” said Perez.
The Warriors go into a bye week to prepare for a tough district road game against Tampa Bay Tech (1-2) on October 2.
Dillon Schmidt/Staff Wrtier