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Despite sidelined star, Burghers prevail — and head into playoffs

The linemen of Warrensburg and Whitehall clash in their teams' showdown Saturday Oct. 19. Overcoming a radical roster shake-up due to the injury of their star running back, the Burghers prevailed — and now advance to a post-season game Friday against Rensselaer.

The linemen of Warrensburg and Whitehall clash in their teams' showdown Saturday Oct. 19. Overcoming a radical roster shake-up due to the injury of their star running back, the Burghers prevailed — and now advance to a post-season game Friday against Rensselaer. Photo by Thom Randall.

— After containing Whitehall and forcing a punt, the Burghers scored in a 69-yard, 11 play drive — which included a third-down, 13-yard run by Prosser, a first down that Schuster earned with a six-yard run, and an 8-yard gain up the middle by Marcus Perrone — followed by a 12-yard run by Prosser. Two plays later, early in the fourth quarter, Prosser again demonstrated his savvy decision-making. When he collided in the backfield with his running back and missed a handoff, he covertly tucked the ball in his arms and charged in the opposite direction for a 20-yard touchdown run — faking out not only the Railroaders, but his own coaches as well.

Schuster then accomplished a three-yard conversion.

Not long afterwards, the Burgher defense again came up with a pivotal play. When Hoagland attempted a 20-yard pass, Prosser streaked in from his safety position and stole the ball from the receiver’s hands and ran it back 55 yards — behind Burgher blockers — for a touchdown. In this interception, the first of four for the Burghers, Matt Boodman made a key block.

Not long afterwards, Prosser got his hands in the way of another Hoagland pass. He batted it into the air, and teammate Trevor Baker lunged for it, then carried the ball 20 yards towards the goal line. Within five plays, the Burghers scored again. The drive featured Schuster gaining 10 yards in a third-and-eight situation. Two plays later, Prosser scored on a 26-yard sweep to the sidelines, advancing the score to 42-20.

Tough Burgher defense, including interceptions by Baker and Perrone, preserved the Burgher score advantage. It had been four years since the Burghers tallied four pickoffs in one matchup.

Sleepless coach running on adrenaline

Following the game, Head Burgher Coach Mike Leonbruno gave several of his key players hugs. He had been operating on adrenaline, not having much sleep on Friday night — senior standout runner Connor Scott had woken him up with a phone call at 3 a.m., and said his injury was serious enough to keep him sidelined.

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