CORNING - Corning will look to right the ship as it travels to Union-Endicott today at 7 p.m. after a tough 50-21 loss at the hands of Elmira in its home opener.
The Tigers come off of a 60-21 loss against Newburgh, a team in Section IX that has double the enrollment of Union-Endicott and Corning. The Tigers allowed three individual rushers for Newburgh to go over 100 yards in that contest, but it's best not to look too much in to these numbers.
“Newburgh is a phenomenal team,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said. “We’re going to face a really good defense. Union-Endicott’s defense is top of the line.”
The Hawks were gashed for 485 yards on the ground against Elmira, something that they hope to rectify this week.
“It’s all about making our assignments on defense,” said Bacalles.
Corning will be focused on creating short fields on defense with big plays that lead to easy scores against the Tigers.
“We have to win the turnover battle,” said Bacalles. “They are a very good team and are well coached. We’re going to have a battle on our hands.”
One of a couple bright spots on offense for Corning last week was the play of quarterback Blake Van Woert. The junior completed seven passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in an otherwise run heavy scheme. However, the bloated passing numbers may be a result of the score of the contest, with Corning trailing throughout the second half.
“It might have been part of the product of the game and part of the product of what we're given," said Bacalles. "I think we made a little bit of an improvement in the passing game, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Another player who will be key for Corning is running back Ja’Ovian Fisher. Fisher carried the ball 15 times for 86 yards against Elmira and looked explosive at times.
The Hawks, despite being faced with a potential 0-2 start for the second year in a row, are focused on daily and weekly growth in their squad.
“Right now, we’re just focused on ourselves and playing to the best of our ability,” Bacalles said. “We’ll see what happens, it’s tough to weigh wins and losses this early in the season. Our key has been improvement in practice and the game, and hopefully we see that.”