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Burghers stun Salem with final power drive

The Warrensburg linemen charge through their opponents like a locomotive to give their running-back a 7-yard gain during a recent game against Bishop Gibbons that the Burghers won 64-18. Warrensburg’s offensive line has been credited for the team’s success in their come-from-behind victory Sept. 22 against Salem..

The Warrensburg linemen charge through their opponents like a locomotive to give their running-back a 7-yard gain during a recent game against Bishop Gibbons that the Burghers won 64-18. Warrensburg’s offensive line has been credited for the team’s success in their come-from-behind victory Sept. 22 against Salem.. Photo by Thom Randall.

With sheer guts and determination, the Warrensburg football players engineered a game-ending 78-yard drive — and a dramatic comeback win — Saturday Sept. 22 against Salem.

And it was the players themselves who determined how to accomplish it, coach Mike Leonbruno said.

With time expiring on the clock and nearly 80 yards to go downfield, Leonbruno called for the team to run the ball outside so the squad could perhaps pick up more than 3 to 4 yards per carry through the congested middle — the team’s signature play this year. The team’s core players, however, asked to stick to grinding it out up the middle, Leonbruno said.

“I let them go with it, and that’s what took us down the field for the touchdown,” he said, noting their 14-play, 78 yard drive that ended up in a touchdown. “I am extremely proud of them.”

Sophomore Quarterback Marcus Perrone punched it over the goal line in a three-yard run with only 27 seconds on the clock. Colt Ovitt then added on the game-winning two-point conversion run so his team beat Salem 14 to 13.

Warrensburg’s earlier touchdown came in the second quarter, when Marcus Perrone tossed a well-aimed pass to Sophomore tight end Shea Irish, who grabbed the ball for a 22-yard gain.

Leonbruno is quite aware of a new determination, enthusiasm, and confidence in his players — first noted by Burgher fans when the team crushed Bishop Gibbons a week earlier, 64 to 18 to break various recent-history scoring records at Warrensburg High.

He said that his players applied their confidence and determination at about 8 minutes left in Saturday’s game when Salem scored their final touchdown, and the Burghers fumbled — and the contest seemed to be mired in the ailment that’s been plaguing the Burghers for years: turnovers.

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