Railroaders fry Burghers, will play for second seed

C onsider this returning the favor.

The Whitehall varsity football team finished out the home portion of its 2010 Class D regular season schedule with a 48-7 victory over Warrensburg on Oct. 9. Last year, the Burghers scored a 41-0 win over Whitehall.

“We came out with a vengeance this year,” said senior lineman Sam Merriman. “We have worked hard throughout the year and we have been getting stronger. We had a lot of things to prove, and this game was one of them.”

“Every team it seemed was running it up on us last year,” said senior linebacker and running back Jake Evans. “We’re not holding back this year.”

“They kept their focus on this game all week,” said head coach John Millett. “We focused on stopping the pass, and we had success doing that.”

The Railroader defense held the Burghers to 236 yards of total offense while totaling up 383 yards of total offense.

The defense also continued its non-Cambridge first half shutout streak, outscoring the Burghers, 26-0, in the first half. The Railroaders have only allowed seven points in the first half all season, all to the 5-0 Cambridge squad. Warrensburg scored its only points in the fourth quarter against the Railroaders’ second team.

Senior AJ Ricketts led the defense with a pair of tackles-for loss, while Codie Bascue and Sam Merriman each recorded one sack each. Matt Oliver and Brice Cook each forced a fumble, which were both recovered by Jordan LaCroix and Zach Diekel, respectively.

The Railroaders also forced two other turnovers on interceptions by Jake Evans and Luke Wescott.

“We have been doing a lot of live line drills both on the offensive and defensive side,” said Millett about the team’s ability to get pressure on the opposition quarterback and open holes for the offense.

For the third time in the season, sophomore running back Josh Hoagland racked up more yardage than the opposition. Hoagland ran the ball 23 times for 248 yards, including a 96-yard run in the third quarter on his second-to-last play of the day.

On his last play of the day, Hoagland caught a pass in the flats from junior quarterback Bascue and went 43 yards for the score, the final of his six total touchdowns on the day.

Hoagland finished with two receptions for 55 yards for a total yardage of 291. Bascue completed two of the three passes he attempted on the day, just missing with senior Brice Cook on another potential score early in the game. Hoagland was 0-for-2 passing with one interception.

Evan McLaughlin added 37 yards on eight carries for the offense, while Brett Christian carried twice for 16 yards, Evans ran once for nine yards and Bascue scored on a one-yard touchdown run.

The Railroaders (4-1) now prepare for their regular season finale as they will travel to Rensselaer (4-1) on Friday, Oct. 15.

“We need to stay focused because we have a short week and the winner of this game gets the two seed and a first round bye in the sectionals,” said Millett.

“It feels good to be where we are,” said senior Brice Cook. “We need to start focusing on next week’s game right now and practice hard every day for the rest of this week.”

“Last year was tough, but this year the guys are stepping up and we have a chance to do some good things,” said senior Matt Oliver.

“We have been working hard all season and we just need to keep that up,” said senior Justin Millett.

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