By Tim Oakley
Our Springville Griffith Varsity football team took their talents on the road last week for another shot at getting the season’s first win. Next up on the schedule Friday night, Sept. 29 was a drive down Route 39 to the shores of Lake Erie to face the Fredonia Badgers.
The Griffs looked poised for a good game. They walked onto the field wearing their bright white jerseys with the purple and gold trim and gold pants. The opponent wore a black on black uniform with small red trim. As the sun began to set and the winds began to whirl, the field was illuminated by the bright lights setting the stage for a perfect football evening. The two teams didn’t disappoint as they began to entertain the crowd with a hard fought football game.
Springville entered the contest 0-2 at home and 0-2 on the road as they looked to replicate the one-sided victory against Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton they accomplished last year. FWB entered the game with just one victory against East Aurora in their season opener.
On SGI’s first possession, the young men drove the ball down field on a seven play drive, capped off by a hard 5-yard touchdown run. After a successful two point conversion, the Griffins took an early 8-0 lead.
From there, the game was controlled by both defenses. Solid play by the Griffins’ big guys on the line helped the team dominate on the line of scrimmage for most of the game. Fredonia completed a long drive that took up most of the second quarter with a one yard touchdown run, but they were stopped on the two point conversion attempt.
With the second quarter winding down, the Griffins punted the ball nearly 70 yards down field, giving the Badgers the ball on their own 5 yard line. On second down, FWB’s Brendan Plaister ran the ball all the way down to Springville’s 10-yard line and the Badgers ended the half with a 23-yard field goal and a 9-8 lead.
Coming out of halftime, the Griffins offense looked tired and predictable. On numerous drives, the opponents held the Griffins without a first down. The defense was up to the task though, as they also imposed their will upon the offense.
Springville continued to battle throughout the second half and found themselves with the ball on their own 27 yard line, trailing by 1 point. The Griffins’ Quarterback took the snap and rolled out where he was met with a monstrous hit by DE Trey Swartz that caused the ball to pop up into the air where the same DE Swartz caught the ball and ran it into the endzone for a defensive touchdown and a 16-8 lead with little time remaining.
Springville was out of gas at this point and the ensuing drive ended in four plays as the Griffins fell to 0-5 on the season and FWB earned their first ever victory in Class B South football.
Springville is winless on the season and has only managed 70 points with nearly half of those points in the first game. The defense has surrendered 173 points to the opponents over the entirety of the season.
This Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. is the next chance for the Griffins to be victorious. The Varsity boys team will be driving east on Route 39 this time, to face the Pioneer Panthers in Yorkshire. Pioneer is 3-2 this season and their team is very strong on defense. Last year, the Griffins beat the Panthers 40-7 in an early season contest in Springville.