WCS football players' enthusiasm prompts team turnaround

WARRENSBURG When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The phrase might as well have been written to describe Warrensburg High Schools monumental turnaround this past week in their 2008 football campaign. Fresh off a lopsided 44-8 defeat at the hands of defending Adirondack League champions Fort Edward, Warrensburg dominated Salem 44-2 Saturday in a home-turf matchup. Assistant Coach Rex Reynolds said it was a matter of resilience the players practicing hard, listening and improving their play while brushing off the earlier loss. The guys practiced hard all week with a lot of enthusiasm and a positive, upbeat attitude, he said. Determination is the word for it they worked hard and it produced a big turnaround. In the first few minutes of the game, the play action looked to be a grim rehash of last week, when Warrensburg was plagued with fumbles. Saturday, Warrensburg began with a 10-play drive, but was intercepted on Salems 39-yard-line. Instead of collapsing, however, the Burghers immediately shut down Salem in four plays, forcing a fumble by the fullback, recovering the ball midfield. Warrensburg scored a touchdown in seven plays, which included a 15-yard pass play in a third-and-seven situation in which Quarterback Tom Holmgren hit David Boodman. The drive included two runs by Holmgren for 21 total yards. Mike Perrone then rumbled into the end zone from the 8 yard line for the first score. Salem, which had played AAU ball all summer, answered with a 39-yard pass, taking the ball to midfield. Their effort was followed by three incomplete tosses. A 25-yard punt return by Brendan Frye gave the Burghers good field position at the 40 yard line. The very next play, WCS back Logan Rock literally ran over the opposition for a 34-yard gain, placing the ball at Salems 26. Two plays later, David Boodman ran for 20 yards, and it was first and goal from the 5-yard line. Mike Perrone carried the ball into the end zone and repeated it for two extra points. Warrensburg then shut down Salems next possession, taking over the ball at their own 36. In nine plays, they scored another touchdown, with Logan Rock racking up another 6 points with a 4-yard run. The drive included a key 4th-and-4 play at the 30-yard line, in which Holmgren passed to Brendan Frye for a 26-yard gain that put them close to the goal. Salem responded on their first play with a 35-yard pass, but Warrensburgs line forced a fumble and took possession two plays later when they sacked the quarterback. The Burghers took over on their 31-yard line, and in the next play, Holmgren threw to Sophomore Mike Curtis for a 19-yard gain, but the drive stalled. Salems ensuing possession was short, as Warrensburg intercepted on the third play from scrimmage. The Burghers fast drive was capped off with a critical 4th-and-12, 21-yard touchdown pass from Holmgren to Brendan Frye, sealing a 27-0 tally at halftime. Opening the third quarter, Salem had a 9-play drive that stalled with a 4th-down incomplete pass at midfield. Midway in the third quarter, after a Salem 71-yard punt, Holmgren again hit Curtis with a 50-yard pass that took the Burghers to Salems 26 yard line. The next play, Holmgren ran through several defenders for a touchdown. Fryes kick was good for the extra point, and the score was 34-0. On the kickoff, Salems returner fumbled at the 20, and the Burghers executed two ten yard plays one a run by Holmgren and the other a leaping end-zone catch by Donovan Santisteban, and the score was elevated to 40-0. Warrensburg players then sought a shutout, but Salems second play after the kickoff return was a 43-yard pass play, showing the skills theyd learned over the summer. Salem was on the Burgher 6-yard line, first and goal, and their fullback plowed forward for a five-yard gain. But for each of the next three plays, Warrensburg defenders stuffed Salems offense, Reynolds said. Each play was phenomenal the defense was tremendous, he said. The spectators and players were cheering em on and the coaches were ecstatic with this great goal-line stand. Warrensburg took over on their own one-yard line, and due to several penalties, ended up on their own goal line, and Salem tackled David Boodman in the end zone for a 2-point safety, the final score of the game. Key elements in the victory was the offensive line, which gave Holmgren time to find an open receiver, Reynolds said. The players enthusiasm was evident in their repeated gang-tackles which shut down Salems offense, he said. The guys really hustled to the ball and it made a big difference, he said. They played the way they were capable of playing. The Burghers next game is at 7 p.m. Friday against Spa Catholic, on Saratoga Springs East Side Recreation field. Reynolds said that WCS coaches hope the Salem victory serves as a catalyst for the teams 2008 campaign. If we continue to play like this, well have a very competitive season, Reynolds said.

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