Tonawanda News — The North Tonawanda football team is getting healthy, but coach Tony Truilizio and the Lumberjacks are hoping it’s not too late to make a run at a playoff spot.
Junior running back Nehemiah Stone will return to the backfield tonight when the Lumberjacks (1-2, 0-2 A North) take to the road to battle Class A North rival Sweet Home (3-0, 2-0 A North) at 2 p.m.
”We’re starting to get everybody healthy, but the tragedy is we don’t know where we stand in the playoff picture. We hope it’s not too late,” Truilizio said. “It’s nice to get him back. If we can get 15 plays out of him for the game that will be a good day.
”He’s coming back from a major knee problem. He’s rehabbed it and he’s done a lot of work on it, but we’re not going to push the limits on it. We don’t want him coming back for one game and then being out for the whole season. We’re going to take it easy on him.”
Linebacker Taylor Mellott is still nursing a knee injury and will not be active for the Jacks, who are facing one of the more high-powered offensive units in Western New York.
Sweet Home, which boasts a 63-game winning streak against Section VI opponents, has a host of weapons at quarterback Kevin Torrillo’s disposal, including running back Jordan Evert and wide receiver Brandon Smiley. Truilizio said it will be important for the Jacks to slow down the Panthers offense if they hope to be successful.
”They have Evert and Smiley who are very deadly for them,” Truilizio said. “We have to play some sound defense, we can’t be intimidated by their speed or the success they have had offensively. In terms of our offense, if we maintain control of the ball and use good, sound clock management it will frustrate them and they won’t get in a rhythm.”