Tonawanda News —
Lackawanna has the ability to make big plays, and Gross said it will take focus and execution to outlast the Steelers.
"I think it comes down to basic football: don't turn the ball over and don't give up the big play," he said. "I think if we do those things and we execute on a consistent basis — those things need to be the focus. We have to win the turnover margin and stay focused."
Seniors Dylan Gregoire (QB) and Cameron Smith (RB) are the team leaders and playmakers for the Steelers. Tardif said that Smith, who scored three touchdowns against Newfane last week, is a threat to score every time he touches the ball because of his speed, elusiveness and crafty run style.
Tardif was impressed with Tonawanda's offense when he watched the JFK film. He said he saw QB Tristan Boling up close last season when he caught six passes at wide receiver. He knows his defense will have to keep tabs on the junior signal caller who is a dual threat through the air and on the ground.
"Tonawanda has a great football team. They have a big offensive line and a three-year starter at left tackle in (Will) Galley," he said. "They're a big football team. They have a great running back (Tim Barnard, who rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns against JFK) and quarterback this year. They're going to be real competitive and it's going to be tough to stop their running game. We're going to be focused on the defensive side of the ball to try and slow down (Boling)."
Heading into the season the inexperience at quarterback for the Warriors seemed to be a concern, but Gross said he never doubted Boling for a second. He knew how special he was from the first day he walked on to the practice field as a sophomore.