Lake George defenders, from left, Robbie Ford, Alex Labruzzo, Brendon Johnson and Brad Hunt chase down Whitehall running back John Hoagland during the Warriors’ 30-0 defeat against the Railroaders Sept. 9. Labruzzo caught two passes for 56 yards in the game.
Lake George’s promising 2011 football season became tinged with doubt Saturday as injuries felled several key players and the team endured a shutout in a game Friday, Sept. 9 against Whitehall.
Lake George quarterback Will Blunt and defensive lineman Lee McCabe each suffered injuries during the 30-0 Railroader victory, Whitehall’s first against Lake George since 1998.
“They beat us up pretty good,” head coach Jeff Bennett said after the game. “But we never quit playing, and we ground it out and fought in the second half.”
The Warriors did have a couple of bright spots, including a goal line stand late in the game. With the Railroaders in the midst of a 13-play drive that took them to the Warriors 7-yard line, the Lake George team shut down perhaps the best running back in Section II — Whitehall’s Josh Hoagland — on consecutive plays for no yards. After a run for only two yards by Whitehall’s Brett Christian, quarterback Justin Hoagland fumbled on fourth-and-goal from the Warriors five, which was recovered by Kyle Young of the Warriors.
The Warriors made three trips into Whitehall territory, which were stopped by two turnovers on fourth down and a fumble.
Blunt sustained a concussion in the first half, and was transported to an area hospital by the Skenesborough Emergency Squad.
“We called an option right play and he headed left, and we knew something was not right,” Bennett said.
Soon after, McCabe came off the field with a leg injury that may also sideline the lineman for several games.
“You lose four guys that play eight positions in the first two weeks, and that is tough,” Bennett said, adding that Charles Barber is now penciled in as the starting quarterback for next week’s game.
Blunt finished with 27 passing yards and eight rushing yards, while Tyler Brown threw for 29 yards, which could have been more if not for a pair of dropped passes. Alex Labruzzo caught both passes for 56 yards receiving, while Brown led the team with 20 yards on the ground.
Bennett offered plenty of praise for Labruzzo, who aggressively tackled 215-pound Josh Hoagland, although he weighs only 140 pounds.
“Alex played like a monster with several solo tackles, grabbing an interception and stopping one of their drives,” he said.
Bennett added that McCabe was also aggressive on the line before he got hurt.
The rest of the line, however, needs to get tougher, Bennett said.
“Our offensive line couldn’t block them, and on defense, we couldn’t get off their blocks,” he said. “They just ‘out-physicaled’ us.”
Adirondack Journal Editor Thom Randall contributed to this report.