Youth football Panthers invade EMW
By MARK BENTON
All four Gowanda Youth Football teams traveled to Elma-Marilla-Wales (EMW) on Sept. 17 to play their third game of the season.
Each team was competitive, with the varsity posting Gowanda's first victory in the new league.
The Pee Wee game (ages 6 and 7) started things off at noon. Maddox Browning had 11 carries for 123 yards while Korbib Bonafede and Ashton Curry rushed for 69 and 41 yards, respectively. Outstanding play was turned in by Bryan Zynda, Jake Millar, Colin Magee, Aiden Riley and Damian Kendle. Gavin Philips, Browning and Curry led the team in tackles. Caden Richter and Rowen Mentley-Peters combined to make a touchdown-saving tackle. Bonafede scored his first touchdown of the season on a 28-yard sweep.
Although the official score is not kept at this age level, the Pee Wee Panthers crossed the goal line four times.
The freshman game was next and EMW scored on the opening kickoff. It was 13-0 before Clay Scanlan ran in from five yards out to break the shutout. Brendan Weinaug connected with Nick Siragusa for the two-point conversion. Down 21-8 in the fourth quarter, Austyn Bartholomew's fumble recovery at the EMW five-yard line set up Weinaug's rushing touchdown. The conversion failed and Gowanda lost a hard-fought game by a score of 21-14.
The JV team faced the toughest challenge of the day as they went up against an undefeated EMW squad. Gowanda struggled mightily throughout the game until Justin Kohn reached paydirt on a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Ryan Gernatt also reached the end zone on a short run and followed that up with the extra point. Quarterback Jordan Schindler led the offense down the field on the last series by successfully calling all of the plays himself (aka Jim Kelly). Nate Brawdy led the team with 10 tackles and eight assists while Caleb Maloney recorded three solo tackles with eight assists.
The varsity team wasted no time in taking the lead in the last game of the day. After Lucas Brawdy intercepted an EMW pass and returned it to the Chiefs' 25-yard line, he caught a touchdown pass on the next play from Carter Benton. Isaiah Utley then had a 15-yard run for a TD followed by Casey Bley's 25 fumble return for yet another score giving Gowanda a 20-0 first quarter lead. Dillon Blackmon scored on a short run in the second quarter and Gowanda led 27-7 at the half.
In the second half, Benton threw a perfect strike to a streaking Brawdy for a 40-yard touchdown. It was Benton's seventh touchdown pass of the season and Brawdy's sixth touchdown reception.
Alex Emery also had a productive game running the ball while Shawn Myers and Devon Richter anchored the defensive line. Kameron Alexander made the best hit of the game from his safety position.
Coach Bryan Brawdy was able to give all of his players plenty of game action as Gowanda won going away by a count of 34-14.