Warren Woods Tower senior quarterback Matt Bills looks to break away from Warren Cousino sophomore linebacker DeMario Young during a 43-13 Aug. 23 Tower win. The Titans next game is against New Haven High at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

Warren Woods Tower senior quarterback Matt Bills looks to break away from Warren Cousino sophomore linebacker DeMario Young during a 43-13 Aug. 23 Tower win. The Titans next game is against New Haven High at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Tower football upends Cousino in season opener

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published August 23, 2018

 Warren Woods Tower junior running back Henry Brown stretches for more yards in a 43-13 Aug. 23 Tower win over Warren Cousino. The Patriots next take the field against Utica Eisenhower at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

Warren Woods Tower junior running back Henry Brown stretches for more yards in a 43-13 Aug. 23 Tower win over Warren Cousino. The Patriots next take the field against Utica Eisenhower at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

Photo by Deb Jacques

WARREN — Warren Woods Tower football coach Al Gulick said he wasn't too impressed with his offense after it's preseason scrimmage.

That unit gave Gulick a lot to smile about in helping the Titans start the season 1-0 after beating Warren Cousino 43-13 Aug. 23.

Tower senior quarterback Matt Bills threw for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 104 yards and another score. 

Titans junior running back Henry Brown, in his first varsity game, finished with 86 yards rushing and scores from 13 and 16 yards out.

“It seemed like we were a little amped up to start the game, but we calmed down,” Gulick said. “It feels good to come out and get a win like this, because we all put a lot into getting ready for this game.”

Bills made an electrifying play early on, keeping on a read option on second and 10 and going 65 yards up the right sideline for a score to put the Titans up 6-0 a minute into the season.

“I saw the outside linebacker trying to contain me,” Bills said. “I just kept the ball and was able to get to the outside and make a play.”

After the Tower defense forced a Cousino three-and-out, Bills led another drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass on a rope to the corner of the end zone that hit senior running back Devin Jackson. A successful two-point try put the Titans up 14-0 with 4:55 left in the first.

Following another Tower defensive stop, the Titans wasted no time adding to their lead, as Bills on first and 10 from the Patriots 35 found senior wide receiver DeAries McCullough for a score. MCCullough in the play was able to separate from the defensive back before laying out for the grab to put Tower up 21-0 with 3:23 left in the first.

The Titans defense got a fourth down stop early in the second and capped the ensuing drive with a 13-yard touchdown run from Brown to go up 28-0 with 5:20 left in the half.

Gulick credited his defense for its strong play in the opener.

“I think it has a lot to do with what our defensive coaches do,” Gulick said. “We’re fast and athletic on that side of the ball, so we focus a lot on reading and reacting — just playing football and trying to make plays.”

Brown scampered in for his second score of the game on a run from 16 yards out with 5:43 left in the third. A successful two-point try following Brown’s score put Tower up 36-0.

“It feels really good to be able to do so much in my first game,” Brown said. “Our offensive line does a lot for the running back, opening holes. We just have to keep our eyes open and run toward the promise land.”

Cousino refused to quit, though.

The Patriots on a drive that started at their own 21, drove 79 yards in nine plays in a possession that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Elijah Rice to junior wide receiver Chris Burse Jr. to make it 36-6, Tower, with 10:32 left in regulation.

Titans sophomore backup quarterback Deric Astrauckas got in on the action with a 1-yard touchdown run to put Tower up 43-6 with 7:30 left in the game.

Burse Jr. scored for Cousino on a 14-yard run with 3:23 to play to cut the Tower lead to 43-13. Burse Jr. finished with 137 total yards and two touchdowns.

Gulick following the win spoke highly of Bills. The Tower coach said his quarterback last season was able to make a lot of spectacular plays, but he’s added another dimension coming into this season.

“He’s much more of a leader,” Gulick said. “He plays under control. He reads defenses and makes the right plays.”

Bills said he understands his role on the team, but kept the focus on the group.

“I just try to do what I can to help the team win,” Bills said. 

The Titans' next game is against New Haven High at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.

The Patriots next take the field against Utica Eisenhower at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at home.