the north face top Jacks likely decide A North
The much anticipated matchup between A North powerhouses North Tonawanda and Starpoint is finally here.
And no one is happier than the Lumberjacks. tonight at Shirley Tudor Stadium. The Lumberjacks will try to shake off their 38 35 loss to Grand Island in which the Vikings came back from a 21 0 deficit.
“We have to have a lot of mental toughness and put that loss behind us and get ready to play the defending division champions,” NT coach Henry Fumerelle said.
The good news from last week was that the Lumberjacks offense continued to click on all cylinders. Quarterback Zack Woodard got loose for two 65 plus yard touchdowns on option plays and as a whole the offense gained almost 450 yards while punting just once.
NT (3 1, 3 1 A North) won the time of possession battle yet again but will need to avoid turnovers and stop the big play to unseat Starpoint atop the division.
“The keys for us are always to win the turnover battle, time of possession and to eliminate the big plays,” Fumerelle said. “We only won one of those, we lost the turnover battle and gave up too many big plays.”
Like everyone else his Spartans have played this year, Starpoint coach Al Cavagnaro expects to see NT’s best game of the year.
“I expect they’ll come in not happy that they lost last week,” Cavagnaro said.
The Spartans (4 0, 3 0 A North) rolled through Lockport last week behind another great performance from the three headed monster at running back. Tajay Ahmed, Terry Rutland and Anthony Robinson each eclipsed the century mark while scoring six combined touchdowns in a 48 28 win.
In order to come away with a 12th straight regular season win, Cavagnaro says his defense needs to keep NT’s offense off the field.
“We can’t let them control it too much,” Cavagnaro said. Saturday
Following their first loss of the season, 26 16 to Clarence, coach Donald Bass said his Wolverines (3 1,
2 1 AA North) responded very well this week in practice.
“We just focused on doing the things we did well and eliminating the things we didn’t,” Bass said. “. Either way he like to get the running game going early.
With N W coach Brent Tylec away from the team due to a personnel issue within the school district, assistant coach Russ Nixon is in line to coach the team again this week after guiding the Falcons to a 27 21 loss at Kenmore West.
Despite a slow start, Wheatfield (0 4, 0 3 AA North) has started to turn things around, putting together two good performances in back to back weeks.
“It’s always frustrating to not get the outcome that you want and to see the effort that these guys put in,” Nixon said. “We kind of had a slow start the first two weeks but the last two weeks have definitely been what we’re used to now with Niagara Wheatfield football.”
The proximity of the two teams makes it a bit of a rivalry game, only added to by its importance in AA North.
The Vikings are coming off of the toughest stretch of their season after splitting with two of A North’s best, Starpoint and North Tonawanda. Coach Dean Santorio just needs to make sure there isn’t any type of letdown this week.
“We talk to them everyday about us getting better and just getting ready by the end of the year to play in the playoffs,” Santorio said. “So its not necessarily who we play but us just trying to keep improving.”
Conner Buzby will get the start again this week but Cam Sionko will play some as he returns from an ankle injury. Santorio said Sionko is definitely not 100 percent but he has practiced with no problems the last couple days and he feels comfortable having him play some to get back into the swing of things.
After having to throw a little bit more than they would have liked over the past two games due to playing from behind, the Vikings will try to get the running game going again while trying to stop the Flames on the ground defensively.
The Lancers (2 2, 1 1 B West) and Warriors (1 3, 1 2 B West) face off in a game that means a lot to both teams.
Lew Port still has a shot at a playoff spot but with Class B powerhouses Cheektowaga and Burgard left on the schedule, it will need to beat Tonawanda to give itself a shot at an upset or two.