Photo by Kim Ladd/Lifescapes Photography
SEASON’S FIRST SCORE — Warrensburg running back Malachai Prosser sprints 58 yards down the home field for the first touchdown of the game against Canajoharie Saturday Sept. 1.
Despite a potent offensive attack that gained 300 yards in the turf, the Warrensburg football team lost to Canajoharie Saturday by an improbably wide margin.
Their 42-20 defeat on their home field was due to no less than seven turnovers.
Following the tradition of Burgher squads of recent vintage, the team offered fans some exciting action as well as stinging disappointment.
WCS running back Malachai Prosser gained a total of 149 yards, and opened up the game with a first-quarter touchdown that was the conclusion of a 53 yard run. In the fourth quarter, he scored a second touchdown on a two-yard sprint.
Warrensburg held their own through the first half, trailing 9-8 after with seconds left in the second quarter. This stanza was concluded by Canajoharie running back Kevin Shannon following up his team’s earlier field goal with a touchdown accomplished via an 18-yard run. Shannon tallied three touchdowns for the day, amassing 192 yards on 27 carries.
The decisive momentum in Canajoharie’s favor occurred in the third quarter, when the Cougars overpowered Warrensburg’s defense — racking up 21 points while the Burghers came up empty-handed.
Canajoharie also utilized their not-so-secret weapon Jordan Griswold, who had launched his team’s scoring with a 30-yard field goal, and kicked two conversions to advance his team’s margin. Warrensburg defense figured out that Griswold was a scoring threat, however, and blocked his last two attempts at extra points.
Another high point for Warrensburg was Warrensburg’s depth in ground-gaining. Connor Scott complemented Prosser’s gains with 88 yards of his own on 12 carries. Colt Ovitt added 46 yards on 12 carries, and Alex Barber chipped in 13 yards on 7 carries.
After the game, Burgher coach Mike Leonbruno, however, declined to praise any particular player, considering the turnovers.
But a plague of turnovers isn’t new to the Burghers in their early-season battles -- it’s been a malaise that Leonbruno has fought for years.
Tuesday, he declared he’d had enough of the lack of ball protection.
“Six fumbles in a row cost us the game,” he said.”Our stats looked great, but those turnovers killed us.”
Leonbruno said he wasn’t discouraged about the team’s prospects, as he was going to conduct drills this week to cure the fumble issue.
“WIth all the mistakes we made, we were still in the game,” he said. “We know we’ve got a good team.”
Up next for the Burghers is a matchup Friday night against Rensselaer, another perennially tough team, on their home field.
Leonbruno said he was anticipating a new approach of steely resolve from his players.
“Were treating this coming game like we’re approaching Week One,” he said. “If we can win this game, we can erase what happened and get our season rolling.”