On paper, Warrensburg arrived in Odessa Friday night poised for a clash of top teams atop the MRVC West standings.
In reality, Odessa had other plans.
Class 3's No. 1 Bulldogs (7-0) dominated the line of scrimmage and fed the ball to their physical senior rushing duo of Dakota DeGraffenreid and Jonas Bennett early and often, muscling their way to a 56-21 win over the Tigers and a continued sole claim as leader of the conference.
"We used a two-tight end offense quite a bit tonight," Odessa head coach Mark Thomas said. "In short yardage situations, sometimes we use basically four tight ends. Those are things a lot of high school teams don't see, but we just have that kind of personnel to do that."
Both teams punted to begin the contest, but Odessa struck first on their second possession. Capping a six-play drive, Bennett took a handoff and cut back to the left side of the defense, managing to break a few tackles and receive a critical block from his own quarterback, Josey Meierarend, to dive at the pylon for a 32-yard score.
"The play wasn't even supposed to go that way," Bennett said. "He's a smart player, and he went around there and made a great block."
Warrensburg (5-2) answered with a nine-play, 69-yard drive ending with a 2-yard plunge by senior quarterback Jaason Levine. However, within less than two minutes, Odessa scored on another run - this one a 49-yarder broken off by DeGraffenreid. Warrensburg failed to accomplish a first down on their ensuing possession, and DeGraffenreid bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.
From there, the teams traded scores again, but Odessa managed to go into halftime with a 35-14 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"We did not tackle well at all," Warrensburg head coach Chris Cavanah said. "Odessa's kids just ran over us, and that's disappointing - we feel like we're better than that. Odessa was the better team tonight."
In total, Bennett and DeGraffenreid had three touchdowns each to go along with a combined 455 yards on the ground.
"Our offensive line plays outstanding every week," Bennett said. "We wouldn't have scored three times each tonight without them, and they do a great job."