Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda and Kenmore East played one of the most entertaining A North divisional games of the 2012 season and both teams are looking to duplicate that effort this afternoon.
This time, the Lumberjacks (1-1, 0-1 A Division) travel to Parker Field to play the Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 A Division) in a critical early season league matchup. Both coaches know what’s on the line, and for the Jacks their playoff hopes may be in jeopardy if they can’t pull out a win.
”We’re still trying to learn how to win. We have to start winning the close games,” said NT coach Tony Truilizio. “It could go either way this week. We could be right there in the playoff mix or we can be right out of it. I truly feel that the third game of the season determines what type of team you’re going to have.”
NT will again be without junior standouts Nehemiah Stone and Taylor Mellott, as both players continue to rehab injuries. With Stone out again, NT quarterback Chris Woodard will have to pick up the slack, along with seniors Jon Zellner (RB) and Jake Ferry (WR).
Bulldogs coach Matt Chimera said Woodard is very talented and has his defense’s full attention.
”They’ve got a very good quarterback. That’s a guy we’re really going to have to focus on,” he said. “They have some other weapons too, but you’ve got to take away their biggest gun first. We’ll focus on that, and make them beat us in other ways.”
On the Ken-East side, senior QB Connor McMahon is having another outstanding season. Truilizio said the Jacks will have to contain McMahon and senior RB Preston Smith, who ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns against Starpoint last week, if they hope to be successful.