Springville-Griffith Institute junior varsity football team falls to Olean
During their first Friday night game of the year, the JV Griffs were challenged with playing without starting quarterback Devin White-Kearns.
Freshman Collin DeWitt got the start, as the team’s signal caller. “Collin DeWitt stepped up and played a good solid game for us,” said Coach Greg Hodges.
Tommy Schweickert had a season-high 194 yards of total offense in the loss, including 106 yards rushing and 88 yards receiving.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the Griffins down 7 – 0, DeWitt led his teammates out of their own end, to bring Springville across, mid-field, on Olean’s 45-yard line.
DeWitt dropped back to pass to Schweickert for a 45-yard touchdown, to bring the Griffs within an extra point of tying the game. On the ensuing extra point play, the Griffins were stopped by the Huskies, as the score remained 7 – 6.
Springville had the choice of kicking it to Olean and trying to get a defensive stop with three time outs, or attempting an onside kick. Hodges chose to onside kick, with what he called “Flintstones.”
“It’s pretty much a giant cluster,” he said. “We have our kickoff team go right from the huddle and kick it. We make it so 11 players are attacking the onside kick against maybe one or two opposing players.”
The Griffs got the onside kick and Schweickert returned it, for a touchdown, but officials ruled that the kicking team could not advance the ball, making Schweickert down when he gained possession of the ball. The score remained 7 – 6.
In the Griffins’ last chance to take the lead, DeWitt completed a pair of passes, down to the 7-yard line. Springville’s offense didn’t muster a first down and Olean ran out the clock.
Springville finished with more than 200 yards rushing. Adding to Schweickert’s total along were Patrick O’Brian, with 48 yards, and Jobe Flemming, with 42 yards.
Leading the defense in tackles for the fourth week in a row was Devin Pazzuti, with 14 tackles.
“It’s kind of funny, in a way, that Devin has had exactly 14 tackles in four consecutive weeks, but it’s definitely an example of the type of defensive player he is,” Hodges said. “He really sets the edge for us and doesn’t let many people run outside.”
Josh Ball added 8 tackles and O’Brian added 7 in the defensive effort that held Olean to one score.
The boys also recently lost to East Aurora 7 – 0 and to Dunkirk 8 – 12.
“I don’t believe in moral victories,” Hodges said, “but they never say die. I’m not surprised by that, anymore. It’s really a testament to their character and work ethic.
“I asked my kids to go out and play 40 minutes of tough Springville football and that’s what they did. Our team stuck together as a family, during and after the game,” the coach concluded.
The S-GI junior varsity boys will close out their season by traveling to Maryvale on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.
The will also visit Williamsville South on Thursday, Oct. 25.