The Kingston Buccaneers hosted the Rochester Warriors in their season’s home opener Sept. 9 but lost 28-0.
Kingston did not have all-league wide receiver Noah Walter because he broke his wrist last week. Therefore, several key offensive players switched positions.
Since the skill players were shaken up, and the line was already undersized, Rochester took advantage early. On its first drive, the Warriors converted two fourth downs, caused Kingston to jump offsides twice, and threw a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Kingston attempted to respond, but their offensive line failed to keep Rochester out of the backfield.
“We saw a different thing on film than what they lined up in,” Buc coach Billy Russo said. “We repped it a certain way all week, and then when they did something different it caused some confusion. In the second half, we settled in better but that first half set the tone with the confusion up front.”
Even though Kingston’s offense struggled, the Buccaneers defense kept the team afloat in the first quarter. However, the team became plagued with injuries in the second quarter.
“We lost a couple of guys to injuries in the first half,” Russo said. “We lost one of our running backs and were already thin at running back this week. That hurt us with the scheme we wanted to use with those guys.”
Since injuries piled up, Russo decided to flip quarterback Brooks Arnim to running back and place Dewuan Swan in at QB.
When Swan took over, the offense averaged nearly 5 yards a play. However, the scheme did not last long because Swan injured his arm in the second half.
Afterward, Kingston’s offense struggled. The Bucs found themselves in tough situations, including a 3rd and 31 after two unsportsmanlike penalties on one play.
On the defensive side, Kingston’s linemen forced three fumbles, recovered two, and forced an interception.
“We got better up front,” Russo said. “They understand what we want with pressure and make them cause turnovers. We knew they would give us a little bit of trouble up front because of their size, but I thought we did well with some of the stunt calls that helped our guys out.”
Due to the lack of size, Rochester was able to outlast Kingston’s defensive line. The Warriors scored one touchdown in each quarter and forced five offsides penalties against the Buccaneers.