Warrensburg defender Greg Shambo gets straight-armed in the face Oct. 15 as he tries to tackle a Salem running back, while Burgher teammate Dan Monthony responds to assist. Despite the Generals’ physical play, Warrensburg beat Salem 48-12, which earned theBurghers a berth in the Section 2 Class D sectional tournament.
SALEM — A forceful ground attack by the Warrensburg football team in a game against Salem Oct. 15 has earned the Burghers a berth in post-season playoffs.
By defeating Salem 48-12, Warrensburg captured the fourth seed in the Section II Class D semifinals.
After a crossover game, away against Moriah Friday Oct. 21, Warrensburg will face top-seeded Cambridge (7-0) Saturday Oct. 29 in a Sectional semifinal showdown.
In the game against Salem, the Burghers racked up more than 450 yards of offense — and they scored on each of their first four possessions.
On their first offensive play of the game, Warrensburg made quite a statement, as Greg Shambo took a handoff and ran 61 yards downfield into the end zone. The Burghers followed up with four more touchdowns before the Generals answered back with points of their own with a two-yard touchdown run by Nick DiDomenico.
Scoring Burger touchdowns were Trevor Prosser, Evan MacDuff, Jack Binder, Joe Turner and Jesse Griffin as well as Shambo. Warrensburg converted all six of their touchdowns with runs by MacDuff, Turner, Cole Lanfear and Robert Shepler.
After the Burghers substituted freely in the fourth stanza, DiDomenico scored again on a 60-yard breakaway run for Salem.
Warrensburg had no less than 14 athletes carrying the ball in their running onslaught — a testament to their offensive depth and athleticism.
Greg Shambo was top ground-gainer with 110 yards in five plays, followed by Trevor Prosser with 100 yards over nine plays. Jesse Griffin ran 44 yards in three plays; Joe Turner ran on two plays for 33 yards; and Evan Rock ran 26 yards in three plays. MacDuff tallied 22 yards over four plays and Jarod West, 21 yards on two plays. Also running with the ball were Jaron Griffin, Cole Lanfear, Michael Gavin. Jack Binder, Trevor Winchell, Zachary Shambo, and Mark Monthony.
Receiving passes, one each, for Warrensburg were Greg Shambo for 40 yards and Evan MacDuff for 34 yards.
McDuff, a sophomore who played wide receiver for most of this season, was at the quarterback post for most all of the Salem game. Early in the game, he switched positions with Mark Monthony who has called plays for the Burghers for all their other games during their successful 2016 season.
“Evan did an outstanding job for us Saturday,” Burgher Coach Mike Perrone said, predicting that McDuff would be quarterback in the post-season.
Perrone reserved his greatest praise for his team’s beefy line, which has been plowing through opponents to enable the Burgher running backs to make substantial gains all year.
“Up front, we were great,” he said. “Any time a team can achieve 461 yards of total offense, the guys up front are making huge holes.”
Warrensburg’s offensive line was key to getting into the sectionals, as while both Rensselaer and Warrensburg finished the regular season at 4-3, the Burghers won their berth because they beat the Rams 48-20 in September.
Perrone said his players were “really excited” about their upcoming post-season play.
“It was one of our team’s goals to make it to Sectionals, and we hope to achieve more and go on past the semifinal game,” he said. “We have a very tough opponent in Cambridge — they have a great program — and we are very excited about competing with a team of that caliber.”
In the meantime, Moriah should give the Burghers good preparation for the Sectional showdown — although they are 2-5 for the season, they’ve played tough B and C schools, Perrone said.