After an up-and-down first half of the season, the Red and Black has a chance to enter a two-week break with a share of first place in the Empire Football League.
Watertown (3-2) would move into a three-way tie for first with a win in tonights 7:30 game against defending champion Albany (3-1) at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, and a Monroe County victory over Syracuse.
The Shock, the Sting, and the Red and Black would all have identical 4-2 records.
We need to win a game, we need to win this game, thats the bottom line, Watertown coach George Ashcraft said. I think the attitudes good, its that halfway point of the season where youre pushing toward the end of August. Its already been a long year, but we dont have another game for three weeks, so guys got to put it together for this one and then well move forward, and play again on the 8th of September.
Watertown has a bye next Saturday, and the entire league is idle for the Labor Day weekend on Sept. 1.
The break comes at a good time for the Red and Black, which is coming off a tough 20-14 home loss to Monroe County last Saturday its first game without former offensive coordinator Ammbrose Souza.
Watertown ran the ball well, as it has all season, but again struggled in the passing game.
The team completed just two passes for three yards, compared to gaining 230 yards on the ground.
Through its first five games, Watertown has completed just eight passes to its wide receivers for a total of 58 yards.
The rushing attack, led by a halfback rotation of Joe Brennan and Harold Taylor, along with quarterback Brian Williams, has provided 942 of the teams 1,220 total yards of offense and nine of its 12 touchdowns.
The ground game is definitely our strongest suit, it has been, it still is, Ashcraft said. If we throw the ball, we throw it. Its part of our offense, if its what were deemed to do, well do it. Well go with whats working and go from there.
The team will also be without its kicker, Zach Grulich, who left the team for undisclosed reasons. Grulich connected on six field goals in the first four games of the season, and was the teams leading scorer before last Saturday.
Nick Farah handled the kicking duties against Monroe County, while Williams filled in as the punter.
Albany, which swept Watertown in a pair of regular season games last year, is coming off its best offensive performance of the season, a 42-28 win over Plattsburgh.
The Metro Mallers are led by C.J. Tarver an athletic, scrambling quarterback with a strong arm. He has thrown nine touchdown passes in four games, and ran for two more.
Its pretty hard to tackle him if he gets going, hes like a ghost out there at different times, Ashcraft said. If we can put pressure on him and get to him, I think well be fine.
■ Tonights game will feature an alumni celebration, at halftime.
Former Red and Black players Al Countryman and Pat Killorin will be honored with commemorative jerseys, and any other former players that attend the game will be announced onto the field.
Countryman played for 13 seasons until retiring as the teams all-time leading rusher, despite playing halfback for only four seasons.
Killorin played for five years on the defensive line, and was a player/coach for his first three seasons.