The Warrensburg High School Football Team started out its 2013 season with the following players (front, left to right): Dan Ackley, Mike Baker, Chris Persons, Colt Ovitt, Connor Scott, Trevor Baker, Malachi Prosser, Matt Boodman, (row 2): Josh Porter, Mark Monthony, Owen Douglas, John Lefebvre, Joseph Turner, Mike Baker, Marcus Perrone, Colby Rounds, Alex Barber, Steven Brown, Daniel Monthony (row 3): Brandon Turner, Christopher Martinez, Rogers McLaughlin, Jake Nemec, Joseph Schuster, Brady Rounds, Greg Shambo, Dylan Nicholson, Brandon Schwarz, and (row 4, center): Blake Vaisey. Since this photo was taken in pre-season, personnel changes have occurred.
In a dramatic rebound from enduring two lopsided shutout defeats, Warrensburg dished out a stunning victory by defeating Fort Edward 56 to 14 in a showdown between rivals Sept. 28.
On Sept. 21, Warrensburg lost 0-53 to Salem, following a 0-36 defeat the week before at the hands of Cambridge.
But the Burghers showed their grit by returning to the field Saturday and putting in a full-team effort that thrilled their fans.
Coach Mike Leonbruno said he was pleased with their performance which demonstrated the Burghers’ true character.
“The guys believed in themselves,” he said of the Sept. 28 game effort, which included gaining nearly 400 yards on the ground. “They trusted the game plan.”
Fumbles and penalties — for years plaguing the Burghers, evaporated this past week. Players held onto the ball and ground out the yardage.
The result was a first win for the 2013 season — against a talented Fort Edward team that’s won seven of its last eight games against Warrensburg.
Connor Scott had nine carries for 175 yards, including two lengthy touchdown runs of 68 and 74 yards. He was backed up by quarterback Malachi Prosser’s two rushing touchdowns — one a matter of several feet and the other a charge of 41 yards. Prosser also threw to Scott for a 22-yard score. Running back Marcus Perrone tallied 10 runs for 73 yards, featuring a 53-yard touchdown run. Matt Boodman also scored a touchdown on a 21-yard run in the second quarter.
Warrensburg scored 30 points in the first quarter, then racked up all but one of their remaining touchdowns in the second stanza. Coach Leonbruno pulled his starters and sent in his backup players for the second half to give them experience — and they scored one touchdown on their own.
Fumble recovery sparks the offensive onslaught
One of the key plays that fired up the Burghers in the first quarter was a fumble forced by a Rogers McLaughlin tackle, followed up by a hard hit by Connor Scott. Joey Schuster picked up the ball for an 80-yard touchdown, to the delight of Burgher fans. McLaughlin had a good game, blocking a punt and in another instance sacking the Forts’ quarterback which set the stage for a critical drive for the Burghers.
Leonbruno praised his line for opening up big holes in the Forts’ defense so running backs could gain plenty of yards.
Next up for the Burghers: the Lake George Warriors
Like many teams from smaller schools in the area, the Burghers have been struggling with a thin roster. They lost 10 players early this season to disciplinary or eligibility issues, but in recent days they’ve gained another half-dozen, boosting their roster to 24, Leonbruno said.
“I don’t care how many players I have, as long as I have 16 guys who can give me total effort,” he said. “And the players’ attitudes are really good right now — they really want to play football.”
Leonbruno said his team is looking forward to a matchup against rival Lake George Friday Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. under the lights on the Warriors’ field.
“We’re hoping our team’s new confidence will keep this winning momentum rolling,” he said.