Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda football team may not have won last year’s T-NT Classic, but the Warriors sent a message to its neighbors across the river that the rivalry is back.
North Tonawanda received that message — loud and clear.
The City of Tonawanda has been abuzz all year, celebrating the inaugural season of the beautiful new Clinton Small Stadium. But after the Warriors clinched their first playoff appearance since 2004 a few weeks ago, the murmurs echoing throughout the city as to whether or not this could finally be the year Tonawanda ends the 12-game NT win streak have turned to roars.
Tonight at 6 p.m. is the 104th installment of the T-NT Classic, and both teams enter the game with three wins on the season.
The Warriors (3-3, 2-3 C North) are a confident bunch preparing for the postseason. And although the Lumberjacks (3-3, 2-3 A North) missed the playoffs again this season they’re on a two-game win streak and have one of the hottest quarterbacks in Western New York.
Junior QB Chris Woodard has been magnificent the past two weeks, scoring eight touchdowns (five passing, three rushing), and leading NT to convincing wins over Starpoint and Niagara-Wheatfield.
Tonawanda coach Rob Gross said Woodard is a playmaker with a ton of natural ability and the intelligence to go with it.
Woodard has to continue to lead the offense, which has been the most consistent unit for the Jacks all season, said NT coach Tony Truilizio.
”He’s very crisp and very cerebral as well. He’s doing both things — the passing game is there and he’s a running threat,” Truilizio said. “Obviously we do the triple (option) and it helps if there is coverage he can break it loose and get into the open field and do some things. Some of his runs have been over 50 yards, so there’s a combination there of a big threat.”