Niagara Gazette


October 5, 2013

Tonawanda beats Class C North rival Wilson


Niagara Gazette — The Warriors struck first early in the first quarter when Boling found his favorite target, tight end Connor Pumm on a 26-yard connection. Pumm, who finished with 49 yards receiving, caught the ball at about the 10-yard line and bulled through a Wilson safety, taking him along for the ride into the end zone.

Tonawanda took a 13-0 lead when Tim Barnard ran one in from 20 yards out early in the second quarter. Barnard continued to dominate on both sides of the ball for the Warriors, finishing with 151 yards on 21 carries, 14 total tackles and an interception.

Growing up Barnard earned the nickname “T-Bone” because of his penchant for big hits, but Gross calls Barnard something else.

“He’s not the ‘T-Bone.’ He’s the backbone. Whatever we need him to do he does it,” Gross said. “He’ll never ask about his stats, he never wants to know how many tackles or yards he had, he just wants to win. Unbelievable drive and desire to be successful, and a great role model for the rest of our team.”

Wilson responded before halftime to make the score 13-7 at the break. 

In the second half in a one possession game, the Warriors executed on the ground. Boling, who ran for 90 yards on the day, broke a couple long runs to get the Tonawanda offense moving back in the right direction. Barnard punched one in from 8 yards out for his second rushing TD on the game. The Warriors went up 21-7 after Boling found Pumm again, this time for a two-point conversion.

Wilson responded in the fourth quarter with a rushing TD by Hunter Howland, bringing the Lakemen within a TD at 21-14. That’s when Gross turned to his team and emplored his players to keep fighting.

After a three and out by the Warriors, Wilson made a costly mistake that gave Tonawanda its chance to close out the win. On a 4th down deep in their own zone, the Warriors were punting to the Lakemen when Howling ran Barnard over near the end zone. Wilson was flagged for roughing the kicker and Tonawanda received a new set of downs. 

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