By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Warrior Run coach Mark Burrows said his team’s biggest challenge, as it has been all season, is to stop the opponents’ run game.
That becomes even more imperative with this week’s Heartland Athletic Conference Division III contest against South Williamsport’s Dominick Bragalone.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior has rushed for nearly 800 yards in the first four games.
“They are a good football team and Bragalone is very fast. Our main objective, like any other game, is to stop the run,” Burrows said.
“We have to contain Bragalone. He’s going to get his yards, but we can’t give up the big play. We are just going to have to play tough defense,” he said. “We would really like to force them to throw. Like any other week, we have to be able to force teams into something they are not comfortable with.’
Burrows said, with South Williamsport junior quarterback Matt Boone, their best hope may be to force him to throw.
Burrows said that, although Boone is a quality quarterback who can throw, “we are more concerned with him getting out of the pocket and running than throwing.”
He added, “It’s a case of pick your poison among Bragalone running and Boone running and throwing.
Coach Chris Eiswerth, whose Mountaineers are 3-1 overall, 0-1 HAC-III, is a former head coach at Warrior Run, and he knows there are some talented players on the team. He said this year’s seniors were eighth graders when he was at Warrior Run. He said he remembers that the eighth grade team was pretty good and included current halfback/linebacker Zach Burrows, son of the current Defenders’ coach.
“You can never underestimate a team. They’ve played very good opponents and, for us, we have to go into this game ready to go and play hard for four quarters,” Eiswerth said.
Despite facing a winless team, Eiswerth said, “We like to attack the same every week. It doesn’t matter who it is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a conference or division game.”
Eiswerth added that it is nice to come home (after playing three of their first four games on the road, and it is South’s Homecoming Game.
Coach Burrows, whose team is 0-4, 0-2, said he thought his defense played well last week in a loss to Muncy, but the offense kept putting the defense in bad positions.
“We weren’t able to move the ball real well and we have got to establish the run. Our defense probably played 70 percent of the game,” he said. “We have to put some good drives together, eat some clock and get our running game going so our passing game will work,” Burrows said.