2015 U-E SCOUTING REPORT
written by TJM
In Sunday’s Press Connects it was reported that for the first time since 2008, Vestal was able to defeat Union-Endicott. While the Golden Bears are able to reflect on the achievement, there is more bad news on the horizon for the Tigers. They’ll meet the Spartans this Saturday for the M-E homecoming at Spartan Stadium, where an M-E team that’s primed to play for a 58th consecutive win will be waiting. In that time, U-E has fallen victim to the new millennium football machine that is Maine-Endwell on at least 6 occasions. In fact, while M-E drew very few if any victories over U-E in the 80’s and 90’s, the Tigers have only beaten M-E on one occasion since 2000 and it came following M-E’s first state championship run in 2004. 2005, clearly a building year for M-E, was littered with regular season losses, one of which was to the Tigers.
Since then, it’s been all M-E where football is concerned in section four, now boasting a consecutive wins streak that has grown to mind boggling 57 straight. U-E, on the other hand is struggling in 2015 having pulled out just one win on the season thus far over Norwich. While 2005 was a season of growth for Maine-Endwell, ten years later it appears that U-E is in the midst of their own period of growth. Having lost starting quarterback Devon Hogan to injury, the Tigers have been forced to rebound and redirect their energy. Senior Anthony Diorio (3) has assumed the duties at quarterback where he’s been getting used to the inverted wishbone look that U-E has opted to go with. The Tigers are not without some tough kids coming out of their backfield, however. At fullback, 200-pounder Mike Rigo (44) can pack a punch through the middle and doubles as an outside linebacker. Rigo has been leaned on pretty heavily in tight spots as one of the seasoned Tiger team leaders and is quick study of opposing teams on both offense and defense. Meanwhile, U-E’s big boy, Josh Greenwood (87) is a power-packed junior that weighs in at 235 on a 6-1 frame and can chug! Offsetting the two big guys are seniors Collin Nixon (33) and Alec Grassi (28). Look for a healthy mix of rushing efforts from all four athletes. Contrary to their record, U-E is still U-E. Their efforts against a tough Vestal Golden Bears was admirable through the first quarter of play, where on their first possession U-E was able to walk down the field and nearly cash in a quick TD. They were instead stalled inside of the Vestal red zone, unable to cap off a big rushing effort, which ultimately forced an ill-fated field goal attempt. The Tigers to be sure will be popping on all fours for this contest if history has anything to say about it. Contrary to the much hyped Sparcat rivalry grabbing press and showcasing M-E and Johnson City, the tension between the Tigers and the Spartans has grown to epic levels over the recent years. Neither team, with district lines grinding so closely against one another, is ready to give up a loss to the other – the thought of it is simply not tolerable.
Regardless of what U-E is able to muster on Saturday, you can be sure that Maine-Endwell will be ready for this game and enters it coming off a blowout over Corcoran that saw many big plays by up and coming players. M-E continues to cultivate its second liners and improve its overall depth. Despite suffering some minor setbacks to injuries, the Spartans remain a well-balanced wrecking crew and are handsomely poised to take a mighty cut at their 58th straight win.