By Tim Oakley
This past Friday, Springville’s Varsity Football team took the field for the final game of a disappointing 2017 season. On this blustery evening, 20 of the 62 listed players on the Griffins roster took the field in the final regular season game in their high school careers. The events of the evening started with a brief seniors night celebration as a traditional way to celebrate the hard work and dedication they have displayed during their time in football. For many of these seniors, this last regular season game is the last they will play competitively after playing each year since the age of 8.
The game was a hard fought battle in the first half as the Griffins seemed to stack up well against the visiting Olean Huskies. No. 20 Jordan Salzler got Springville going with a strong 36-yard run on taking the ball deep into the Huskies’ territory. Springville failed to convert on this possession, but they were able to get the ball back from Olean where they would strike first. On 4th down with 4 yards to go, No. 12 Matt Evans faked a hand-off up the middle, then took the ball himself 46 yards down field for what would be an 8-0 lead. This run exemplified the best of Springville’s offense as LT Josh Steff sealed the outside with a massive block allowing the complexity of the play to unfold with the defense on their heels.
Later in the 2nd quarter, Olean was able to tie the game on a long run to the outside where SGI has been susceptible to large gains all season.
After going into halftime with a 8-8 tie, the game got away from Springville. Olean added a touchdown and failed conversion to make the score 14-8 at the end of the third quarter. As the clock ticked down to zero, the Griffins found themselves on the defeated half of a 26-8 final score.
The Griffins will take the field once more though in a non-conference game against the 0-7 Tonawanda Warriors. Obviously, the Warriors have had a rough season as their team is also winless and has only managed 61 points and 8 touchdowns in seven games. The Warriors have a point differential of -220. The Griffins aren’t that better statistically, though. During this trying regular season, SGI has only managed 78 points and have surrendered 221 points for a differential of -143.
The final game played against Tonawanda will be on Thursday evening, Oct.19 at Pop Warner Field with a 6 p.m. kickoff. Hopefully friends, family, and neighbors can gather to enjoy a fun community event together. We will be sending off our seniors with a raucous fan base showing their appreciation for all that the players, coaches and parents have put into representing this great town.
Aside from this year’s disappointing Junior Varsity and Varsity football results for the season, the future of Springville football is looking bright. Both the Midget Griffins and the PeeWee Griffins pulled off resounding victories in their respective playoff games. The Midget team won by double digits and will now play in the championship against Salamanca on Saturday. The PeeWee Griffs also won their semi-final contest on Sunday the 15th during sideways rain that soaked all in attendance. The little Griffins will now face Cattaraugus/Little Valley on Saturday in the Super Bowl B championship game.