Things Could Be Tougher For Red Raiders Today

In Jamestown’s season-opening football game at Strider Field last week, the Red Raiders’ portion of the scoreboard resembled a pinball machine.

The hosts’ no-huddle offense was working to perfection as they put up points constantly and quickly in the first half. After the first two quarters, Jamestown led 52-0 en route to a 52-14 Class AA victory over Niagara Falls.

Everything was clicking for the Red Raiders and after the game coach Tom Langworthy called it a “perfect storm.”

“Our special teams pinned them back, our defense played stingy and forced a couple of mistakes and our offense was able to capitalize,” he said this week. “All three phases of the game working in unison at the same time creates that type of scenario.”

He also noted, “We were able to score quickly, but we were able to stop them quickly. It was good for our kids to see why we do what we do.”

In their 52-point first half, the Red Raiders haddrive starts from their own 38-yard line, 32 and 41, but also from the Niagara Falls 29, 7, 35, 28 and 31. And number of plays in their scoring drives were seven, three, two, seven, one, nine, five and two.

It was a perfect opening game.

“It’s great to have a confidence-builder like that and to know what you’re capable of in Week One,”Langworthy said. “Sometimes in the past seasons we’ve had teams that we didn’t know what we were capable of until week three or four. We know what we can do if we execute, but it’s going to get tougher as you go deeper into the season. Every win gets more difficult, teams start to catch on a little bit more to what you’re doing, so you’ve got adapt to that and try to break some tendencies.”

So when the Red Raiders return to action today at 2 p.m. at Kenmore West in another Class AA game, that 38-point win will be long forgotten.

“I wanted them to enjoy it Friday night and I wanted them to enjoy on Saturday because we been working hard for three weeks (of preseason practice) plus the summer plus the spring plus the wintertime,” Langworthy said. “That first game is something you always focus on.”

But he added, “I don’t think your first game is indicative of what your season is going to be like. I think this group, being a more-experienced group, they understand when we say, ‘Put it behind you, focus on next week.”‘

And there’s a good reason for that.

“As we go on, it’s going to get harder and we have a bullseye on our back already, but that’s just going to get bigger,” Langworthy said.

After taking a 52-0 halftime lead, it could be difficult to find anything that went wrong.

“There was a not a lot that needed to be improved,” Langworthy said. “We scored a lot of points, that was great, but it’s still the first game and you can’t replicate first games at any of your practices. There’s a lot of details we need to clean up, but the nice thing is we got out to a great start and we’ve been preaching to the kids about starting fast and obviously we did that.”

A major benefit of the big halftime lead was that plenty of non-starters saw lots of action in the second half.

“I think our second- and third-string guys and beyond got some really good reps and they were going against a lot of Niagara Falls starters and they were hanging right in there with them,” Langworthy said. “All these guys that have worked hard and sometimes they don’t get a chance to get in a game and they got to go in there. It raises morale, it keeps the team fired up and excited and as coaches one of our goals is to get every kid into every game. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But when it works out like that it’s really gratifying to see some of these kids that have worked so hard to get a shot to get in there and do something.”

He added, “And we preach to them about finishing strong and I think guys that were in there at the end were playing hard.”

One major flaw for the Red Raiders against Niagara Falls, which was easy to overlook with 52 points, was that place kicker Quinn Lee Yaw was only 2-for-7 on extra-point kicks.

“I think he was just fired up,” Langworthy said about Lee Yaw, who played in a soccer game earlier that day. ”Talking with (assistant coach) Mike Baker, who works with our kickers, instead of planting and then leaning, he was tipping his hips one way. It’s just a minor adjustment.”

He added, ”Some of those he missed were really, really close. From the sidelines they looked good.”

But on the plus side, Lee Yaw kicked off eight times and seven went in the end zone for touchbacks, forcing Niagara Falls to start from its 20.

“If I had to take between kicking it in the end zone or the extra point, I would say kick it in the end zone, but now I’m going to say let’s do both,” Langworthy said.

And he hopes to see that day at Crosby Field against Kenmore West.

“This is a game we looked at when we got our schedule we said this going to be an early test for us,” Langworthy said,

“They’re dangerous. They have this kid, (running back) Alex Price, he’s a good player. He made some runs on us last year (94 yards on seven carries), he’s really quick. We’ve got to account for him.”

Last week in a 22-7 loss to Lancaster, Price had a 63-yard touchdown run and finished with 103 yards. He also caught five passes and on defense he had an interception.

Last season Price had an interception against James-town to set up the Blue Devils lone touchdown for an 8-7 lead before falling, 27-8.