South Warren hadn’t lost a football game in quite a while.
The Spartans – who carried a state-leading 21-game win streak into Friday’s Class 5A, District 2 clash with crosstown rival Bowling Green – dropped a 14-3 decision at Spartan Stadium, handing them their first loss since falling to Covington Catholic on Nov. 27, 2017.
The two sides were scoreless after the opening quarter before South Warren (6-1 overall, 0-1 Class 5A, District 2) led 3-0 at halftime. The Purples (4-2, 1-0) responded in the second half by scoring 14 unanswered points to come out on top.
The two sides played a sluggish opening half.
After Bowling Green won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, South Warren received the opening kickoff and fumbled on just the second play of the drive as a bad snap fell to the ground and Rece Jones recovered for the Purples.
Bowling Green wasn’t able to take advantage of its takeaway, though, as its series didn’t go far – or last long – and the Purples had to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Dalton Major, which missed and kept the game scoreless at the 9:30 mark of the first quarter.
South Warren quarterback Mason Willingham threw two interceptions – one to Jacob Deglow and one to Evan Spader – and the Spartans and Purples exchanged punts and turnovers-on-downs to be scoreless after one.
The Spartans struck first early into the second as Eldar Dervisevic connected on a 27-yard field goal to give the home club a 3-0 lead at the 9:21 mark.
A 27-yard pass from Purples’ quarterback Max Payne to wide receiver Elvin FoFanah moved BG into South Warren territory just past the midway point of the quarter, but the Purples weren’t able to put anything on the board as Major’s 41-yard attempt went wide right.
Bowling Green had yet another chance to tie it before the half as Major kicked a 37-yarder as time expired, but the attempt missed and the Spartans took their three-point lead into the locker room.
The Purples finally found an answer late in the third quarter.
After a pass interference call placed Bowling Green in the red zone, it soon scored on a 13-yard touchdown run by Javeius Bunton. Bunton received the handoff from quarterback Conner Cooper and sprinted up the middle untouched to give the Purples a 7-3 lead at the 2:26 mark.
South Warren attempted a 41-yard field goal early into the fourth, but Spader blocked the kick and Bowling Green picked it up and ran to the Spartans’ 45 to give itself good field position. However, Bunton soon fumbled and Jake Johnson recovered to give the ball back to the Spartans.
Despite recording the fumble, South failed to score as Willingham threw incomplete on 4th and 5 at the BG 34 and the Purples took over from that spot leading 7-3 with 5:56 left.
Bunton made up for his fumble by recording a 27-yard TD run to increase Bowling Green’s advantage to 14-3 with 4:29 remaining. Then, on the defensive end, Spader picked off Willingham for the second time to give the ball back to the Purples and seal it.
Both teams will have next week off for fall break and return to action Oct. 18. South Warren will travel to Greenwood that night, while Bowling Green hosts Christian County. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
Bowling Green 14, South Warren 3
BG – 0 0 7 7 — 14
SW – 0 3 0 0 — 3
SW – Dervisevic 27 field goal, 9:21
BG – Bunton 13 run (Major kick), 2:26
BG – Bunton 27 run (Major kick), 1:29