Weekly Feature



2018-09-12 / Sports

Kenmore East football showing improvement

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter


D’Anzo Young of Kenmore East catches a screen pass and takes off as John Orfanidis of Williamsville East attempts to make the tackle during a 26-25 Flames win Friday Night. 
Photo by Jake French D’Anzo Young of Kenmore East catches a screen pass and takes off as John Orfanidis of Williamsville East attempts to make the tackle during a 26-25 Flames win Friday Night. Photo by Jake French The Kenmore East football team is making progress.

The Bulldogs are 0-2, but they have played well and been competitive in both games. Friday, they lost to Williamsville East 26-25. The game ended in dramatic fashion as Kenmore East completed a pass with under 30 seconds left and fumbled. If he was one step ahead, he’d likely have scored and given the team the lead in the final seconds.

“It was pretty close,” Kenmore East coach Pat Veltri said. “One team would score; then the other team would come back, drive down the field and score. I think we were pretty consistent; we scored a touchdown in every quarter and I think they scored two in the first and two in the third. The score was pretty close; it was a pretty good battle back and forth.”

Nate Murdie had a strong game at the quarterback position. He ran for 101 yards on 14 carries and was 11-21 with 159 passing yards. D’Anzo Young had two receptions, one of which went for 52 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 100 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns.

Defensively, the team was solid in many ways. They let up a few big plays, but have shown improvement in tackling and team defense.

“I thought we were pretty solid,” Veltri said. “We let up a couple plays here and there. But we’ve actually doing a pretty good job of team defense; we’re getting a lot of guys to the ball. For the most part, we’re not letting up any big plays. If it’s a long run, the other team is getting 20 yards. We’re not having what we had a couple years ago where teams would run a trap up the middle for 75 yards.”

The Bulldogs still have some improvements to make, but they’re making other teams work to score, which should pay off more in the long term.

“We’re doing well; we’re playing well as a team on defense,” Veltri said. “We’re getting a lot of guys to the ball. We’re making other teams’ offense work to score, which I think is important. The more you can slow a team down and make them work, the more likely it is that you’re going to stop them and the more chances you have for turnovers.”

While the record might not show it yet, the Bulldogs have improved vastly over the past two years. After two-plus seasons filled with blowouts and very few wins, the Bulldogs have played two good games and appear ready to compete with anyone they play. That is a definite step forward. The next step will be to cut down on turnovers and penalties.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress over the past two years,” Veltri said. “I think the boys are a little bit frustrated at this point. Both of those games, we felt we should have won. The biggest thing we’re harping on the team right now is turnovers. The first game, we turned the ball over five times and got two back. We were minus three in turnovers and the same thing this week. Then there are penalties, too. Last week, I think we had 15 for 77 yards and this week it was 11 for 67. Those are two things we really need to focus on. I think if we eliminate the turnovers, we win those games.”

The Bulldogs will next take the field against North Tonawanda Friday on the road at 7 p.m. They’re expecting a tough game against a strong running team, led by recently returned Eric Jantzi at head coach.

“Coach Jantzi is back, so I think it’s a lot of what you used to see with them with a lot of the fullback getting the ball, a great running game and a physical team,” Veltri said. “NT is always physical. We’re pretty prepared to see ground and pound.”

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