By Tim Oakley
The calendar month changed and the trees begin to show new color, but October is no more kind to the Varsity football program in Springville than September was. The winless Griffins team started last week with preparations for the upcoming battle with the Pioneer Panthers. The team displayed all the dedication and attention to detail as an undefeated team. These young men and their diligent coaches have continued to fight and grow stronger together as a one cohesive unit. Unfortunately, the talent and stability within the Pioneer program put a better team on the field.
James Duprey (son of Springville all-time great Coach Jim Duprey) led his Pioneer Panthers onto the field with a record of 3-2. The home team had also scheduled this contest as the “Homecoming” game for the Panthers.
Springville’s first drive of the game ended on 3rd down when the Griffs fumbled the ball on a lateral pass dropped by the receiver. That play set up the first score of the game when No. 28 of Pioneer ran the ball 5 yards for a touchdown, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead after the extra point.
The ensuing drive ended with the Griffins’ second turnover when QB Bryson Black threw an interception on 3rd and 7.
The first drive of the second quarter by the Panthers was a display of power. Pioneer drove the ball 72 yards down field and capped off the possession with a 28-yard touchdown run on 4th and 1. The host team added a two point conversion, giving Pioneer a 15-0 lead.
The first half ended with another impressive drive by the Panthers. The team went 76 yards in 7 plays and scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The half ended with Springville down 22-0.
From there, Pioneer largely played to protect the lead. The game ended with the Griffins suffering their 6th loss in as many games by the score of 22-0. Springville Griffins ended the game with just 99 yards of offense on 39 offensive plays. They lost the turnover battle 2-0 and the offense went 1/11 on 3rd down. The 0-6 Varsity football team has completed their road schedule for the 2017 season.
Although this season may end up being one of the least successful in school history, there is a silver lining in the clouds. This Griffin team is a great example of dedication. These players, coaches, and parents are giving just as much of their time, money, and energy now as they did leading up to week one. The team’s ability to confront adversity by attacking it with hard work and family is a great symbol of the merits of organized football. Each of these young men is going to learn at an early age what rudely smacks many 20-something-year-old people right in the face. They are learning not to give up. They are learning that things may not always go as planned. They are learning that things are going to go wrong and as such, how you respond is a true measure of an American.
Friday, Oct.13 is the final regular season game for SGI. It is a home game kicking off at 7 p.m. against the Olean Huskies. Olean is 2-4 on the season and bring in an offensive game plan that includes a good amount of passing.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, Pop Warner field will play host to a couple of PeeWee football playoff games. Following a game between Pine Valley and Franklinville, the PeeWee Griffins will face the Seneca Sachems at 3:30 p.m. for an opportunity to play in the Superbowl B game.