WARRENSBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Stillwater and Warrensburg/Lake George/Bolton have been a force on the gridiron in Class D this season. Both teams entered the week undefeated at 6-0, ranked fifth and third, respectively, in the state rankings. But when the two sides met Saturday afternoon in Warrensburg, the Wolverines proved they’re the team to beat in Class D, rolling past an injury-riddled Warriors unit 50-7.
“We came out heavily motivated (after) a great week of practice,” said Warrensburg/LG/Bolton head coach Mike Perrone. “You don’t get that type of outcome without having a great week of practice, and that’s what we did.”
The first two drives of the game indicated a heavyweight battle was in store. After Warrensburg scored on its’ opening possession – a six-yard touchdown run from Ben Sheldon – Stillwater immediately responded in its’ first turn with the football.
Warriors senior quarterback Jay Gannon, who started under center in place of the injured Jaxon Mueller, connected with Lukas Lilac on a 40-yard pitch-and-catch. An ensuing PAT gave Stillwater a 7-6 advantage.
But that’d be short lived. The Wolverines found the end zone on their next three possessions to take commanding, 28-7 lead.
On the final possession of the second quarter, Sheldon scored on the ground from three yards out with zeros on the clock, capping a string of 28 unanswered points for Warrensburg to close the first half.
Sheldon added a 21-yard score on the ground in the second half – his fourth touchdown of the afternoon. Junior fullback Nick Jeckel finished off the offensive onslaught with a two-yard rushing touchdown to get Warrensburg to the half-century mark, while shutting out Stillwater in the second half.
The Wolverines ran wild for 343 yards on the ground, and four different ball carriers reached pay dirt, including quarterback Caden Allen, who also went an efficient 7-8 through the air with 155 yards that included a 71-yard touchdown pass to Sheldon.
Sheldon led the ground attack with 118 yards – he tallied 189 total yards of offense. Senior running back Gavin McCabe followed close behind with 114 rushing yards, while also finding the end zone in the first quarter on a six-yard scamper.
“When a team tries to take something away, we wanna have an answer for it. And I felt like that’s what we had today,” said Perrone. “We have so many guys that can touch the ball and really affect the game. Five, six guys. And we got some guys that are gonna be healthy in a couple weeks that we’re excited about having back. So, I’m just so proud of the guys. We talk about it all the time: team victories. And that’s what we (got) today.”
This game may very well have been a Class D championship preview, and a healthy Stillwater will likely make for a drastically different matchup – the Warriors were missing five starters for this game.
But Saturday was an opportunity for the Wolverines to make a statement in the class and take a huge step towards garnering the No. 1 seed in sectionals, and they certainly did that.
“We just wanted to set the tone early and often, and I think we did a great job (of that),” said Sheldon. “Opening kickoff…Nick Jeckel laid the boom. It was a test for sure. We knew comin’ in it was going to be a test, but…we showed some great perseverance after they went up early. We came back; put up so many unanswered (points). That’s what we love to see.”
Warrensburg/Lake George/Bolton (7-0) can lock up that No. 1 seed Friday when it travels to Canajoharie/Fort Plain. Stillwater (6-1) has a prime opportunity for a tune-up game and to continue healing up in Week 7; it takes on winless Helderberg Valley at home.