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Burghers force Canajoharie into overtime battle

Burgher threat Malachi Prosser powers his way through traffic for a yardage gain during a matchup versus Canajoharie Saturday Sept. 7.

Burgher threat Malachi Prosser powers his way through traffic for a yardage gain during a matchup versus Canajoharie Saturday Sept. 7.

— The small Varsity squad of Warrensburg football players proved their grit Saturday Sept. 7 as they forced powerful Canajoharie into overtime — but the Burghers’ energy apparently was then depleted, as the deeper lineup of Cougars stymied a Burgher drive, then scored a touchdown in five plays to win the game.

Warrensburg Coach Mike Leonbruno said his players put considerable effort into the game, evidenced by the 8-7 lead they had earned going into the fourth quarter.

“We played tough, but got tired at the end,” he said. “The boys played hard, and I’m proud of them.”

He noted that 11 players played the 11 positions on the field — offense, defense, kickoff returns and punt returns — with no break; no substitutions except for a few injuries.

“The effort those 11 guys made is pretty impressive,” he said.

On offense, Malachi Prosser lead the Burghers with 94 yards rushing, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Connor Scott ran for another 82 yards.

Warrensburg’s offense racked up 330 yards to Canajoharie’s 217. The Burghers also tallied 14 first downs to the Cougars’ 8.

Leonbruno said he was particularly happy with his team’s defensive effort in containing Canajoharie, which had a good season last year racking up points against Class C opponents, one step up from Warrensburg’s perennial D ranking.

“Defensively, Trevor Baker and Dan Ackley played well for us,” Leonbruno said. “We had the lead in the 4th quarter, but we made a couple of mistakes — we had chances to win, but didn’t capitalize.”

Warrensburg committed four fumbles, resulting in two turnovers, and Canajoharie had none.

Next week, the Burgher roster is likely to be a touch deeper, as three players who hadn’t tallied enough practices to play the opener will be on board.

Warrensburg will need all the personnel it can muster.

They’ll be facing Cambridge, a team known to be formidable, year after year.

In their opener against powerhouse Greenwich on Saturday, Cambridge rushed for more than 350 yards, led by 6’3”, 211-pound fullback Chris Warnke, backed up by Caleb Rowland, who tallied 122 yards and three touchdowns.

But Leonbruno said his Burghers would be giving Cambridge a good fight.

“We opened some eyes with the effort our players put out against Canajoharie,” he said. “It gave our guys some confidence, and hopefully we’ll start rolling with that.”

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