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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.

— “I’ve been up since 3 a.m., trying to come up with a plan to compensate,” Leonbruno said soon after the field cleared. Just hours before the game, Leonbruno had shifted a good portion of his lineup.

Filling in for Scott with powerful running were Schuster with 101 key yards gained and Prosser with 96, backed up by Perrone, Boodman, Barber and 8th grader Greg Shambo.

“The guys really stepped up for us — this was huge,” Leonbruno said. The coach continued, observing how Schuster, a mere 130 pounds or so, stepped into his new role with such success.

“Schuster is small and young, and not super-fast — but he’s got good vision and he’s shifty,” Leonbruno said. “He did a great job following his blockers.”

Players ecstatic about outcome

Connor Scott, on the sidelines, watched Leonbruno hug Trevor Baker, and he grinned.

“Oh my Lord, there are no words to describe this,” he said. “The team had a lot of heart and they played rough, tough football.”

Schuster, helmet in his hand, also sported a broad smile. Prior to this game, he had only run once on Varsity.

“This feels awesome, running against a really good team like Whitehall,” he said, noting that Scott had given him valuable advice whenever he had come off the field.

Deferring credit to his teammates, Prosser said the win was especially important to the seniors.

“This is like a miracle,” he said. “This was a great team effort — everyone blocked right, pulled together,” he said.

Baker, an outside linebacker, was also grinning as coaches were congratulating him on his defensive play. His two interceptions in the game were his first ever.

Baker said the players were charged up because two key seniors were on the sidelines.

“This was the last game ever on our home field,” he said. “This is the best feeling I’ve had all year — To be in the playoffs, I’m pumped.”

Warrensburg plays at Rensselaer 7 p.m. Friday under the lights on the Rams’ field.

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