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Blanked in their second 2013 contest, Burghers now eye rebound victory at home

Warrensburg football standout Malachi Prosser pursues a Canajoharie running back during a recent game between the two schools. The Burghers put up a good fight against Canajoharie on the WCS home field, and coach Mike Leonbruno is hoping that familiar turf this Saturday will boost his players in their contest against the Salem, which has a powerful offense.
Last year against Salem, the Burghers pulled off a stunning upset when they engineered a powerful ground drive and scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion — within the last 25 seconds of the game — to pull ahead by a mere one point and win the showdown. Warrensburg fans are hoping that the Burghers show the same gritty perseverance to accomplish a similar feat on Saturday.

Warrensburg football standout Malachi Prosser pursues a Canajoharie running back during a recent game between the two schools. The Burghers put up a good fight against Canajoharie on the WCS home field, and coach Mike Leonbruno is hoping that familiar turf this Saturday will boost his players in their contest against the Salem, which has a powerful offense. Last year against Salem, the Burghers pulled off a stunning upset when they engineered a powerful ground drive and scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion — within the last 25 seconds of the game — to pull ahead by a mere one point and win the showdown. Warrensburg fans are hoping that the Burghers show the same gritty perseverance to accomplish a similar feat on Saturday.

— Cambridge High School quarterback Ethan English completed 10 of 12 passes for 166 yards and his teammates racked up 210 yards on the turf — scoring all of their touchdowns in the first half — to accomplish a 36-0 shutout victory over Warrensburg on Sept. 14.

Burgher coach Mike Leonbruno said his players were lacking focus in the game.

“We weren’t ready to play off the bus,” he said. “Our guys were like deer in the headlights for the first half — It wasn’t good.”

The Burghers are having trouble maintaining a minimum roster — but so are about five other class D competitors in the Section, Leonbruno continued.

The coach said he expects his team to rebound from the loss and play a competitive game Saturday Sept. 21.

Salem, the Burghers’ opponent this Saturday, forfeited its first game this year due to insufficient players. But last Saturday, their experienced, powerful offense defeated Hoosic Valley 27-12.

The Burghers will have to devise ways to contain running back Isaac Isom who ran for 217 yards and scored all four touchdowns in that game. Salem held Hoosic Valley to a mere 6 yards rushing for the contest.

Leonbruno said that in front of a home crowd Saturday Sept. 21 against Salem, the Burghers might step up and give the Generals a tough fight.

After cutting several players for disciplinary reasons just days before the season opened and losing others to attrition, Leonbruno said it’s been a struggle shifting the players around to make the team competitive.

“We’re now trying to find the right guys for the right spots,” he said.

Warrensburg gridiron fans are hoping their team pulls out the upset stunner they did last year against Salem, when the Burghers engineered a 78-yard ram-it-up-the-middle drive over 14 plays, scoring a touchdown with only 25 seconds left on the game clock. A Burgher running back then ran a two-point conversion to secure the win by one point in front of a screaming crowd.

From that 2012 team, quarterback Marcus Perrone is back, and so is standout ground-gainer Malachi Prosser. So if the rest of the team rallies around these two, they could pull off another exciting victory.

Leonbruno said he was looking forward to the game against Salem.

“It will likely be a good battle again,” he said.

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