Impact go for 3-0
WATERLOO — As the saying often goes in sports, “Defense wins championships.”
The Finger Lakes Impact semipro football team used that phase of the gridiron to spark a 2-0 start to its 2014 Northeastern Football Alliance season.
The Impact have counted on their defensive prowess to pick up 12-0 and 12-10 victories over Utica and Oneonta City to start the campaign.
Finger Lakes will look to keep the defensive momentum rolling into its home opener tomorrow when the Impact welcome the Ithaca Warriors to Waterloo’s Tom Coughlin Stadium.
“What helped us win our first two games on the road was our defense,” Finger Lakes coach Larry Guererri confirmed. “It stepped up big for us, scoring three of the team’s four TDs.”
Guererri now hopes his offense hits the same stride as Week 3 approaches. Former starting quarterback Trevor Sanders, who left the team for personal reasons, will be replaced by long-time Impact signal-caller Jessie Higgins-Tisdale.
“Our offense has had some issues in the first two games with turnovers and penalties, which we have resolved this week,” Guererri remarked. “Jessie Higgins-Tisdale will return to the starting role at quarterback, leading our offense back on track.
“I think you will see an entirely different offensive team from here on out. Coach Dillon has made the proper adjustments for the offense to run on all eight cylinders now.”
The Impact will put their offense and defense up against an Ithaca team that is currently 0-2 this season after two road defeats.
Again, Guererri believes his defense, especially in the run game, will be the key for Finger Lakes to reach 3-0.
“We will be playing against a power run team who runs an old-style, wishbone pistol offense so they like to pound the ball,” Guererri said, “so I will be looking for our defense to step up and stop the run.”
Second-year defensive lineman Mike Valvano and first-year middle linebacker Logan Moore have combined for 15 tackles, five sacks and four turnovers in the first two games.