Unfortunately for Unatego, the Tigers returned most of their roster from last year, including Carter Jackson and Dylan Babcock on the right side of their line. Both guys weigh over 250 pounds and they can move.
“They’re big and we’re fast,” was how Microni described this Saturday’s matchup.
Running back Jesse Manuel has averaged 10 yards a carry this season running behind Jackson and Babcock. He has more than 1,200 yards on the season.
“We’ll try to slow them down,” Microni said. “We have to create some turnovers and make some big plays. Hopefully, we’re a little quicker than they are and we can make some plays on the edge.”
The Tigers rolled up more than 600 yards of offense against S-VE last week.
“They’re a big team,” senior linebacker Joel VanAlstine said. “They like to slam it up the gut. We have to crack down on defense and take away that middle.”
Five times last week, Elmira Notre Dame advanced to at least Unatego’s 32 and came away with no points on those trips.
In the first quarter, the Crusaders drove to Unatego’s 17, a drive that ended with an interception by Nate Wilsey. Late in the second quarter, END made it to Unatego’s 32 before Corbin Henry intercepted Hunter Thomas as the Spartans’ 4.
On back-to-back drives in the third quarter, END penetrated to Unatego’s 27- and 18-yard lines. The first ended with an interception by VanAlstine that he returned 71 yards and END turned it over on downs the second time.
Finally, END made it Unatego’s 4 on its final drive before Henry made a clinching interception in the left corner of the end zone.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Feyerabend went 7-for-7 for 56 yards in the second half Saturday. He finished 15-for-29 for 228 yards.