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Sports

Football Griffins rally for best half of season

JAMESTOWN—The Springville-Griffith varsity football team took to the road against an AA opponent in Jamestown Sept. 22. Although the heavily-favored Red Raiders took the game 56-14, Springville rallied from a 56-0 halftime score to out-score Jamestown 14-0 in the second half. It was the first half of shutout football for Springville this season, arguably against their best opponent.

Springville got off its game in the second quarter and Jamestown took advantage with five of its eight scores – many of which were the result of Springville turnovers.

You won’t find too many coaches content with a 56-14 loss, but head coach Rob Valenti really liked what he saw from his group in the second half.

“I think the second half started in the locker room and a lot can be said about the group that went into the room down 56-0 and came out and kept their composure,” he said. “Each week we have a theme and this week’s theme was about execution and the power to raise the standard.”

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While the Griffs are still looking for their first win, the second-half rally at Jamestown should provide enough momentum for Springville to be at their competitive best this week at Fredonia. The group should be commended on its efforts as many other teams would have packed it in after being down eight scores at the half, but Springville played inspired second-half ball on both sides. The offense recorded a score in each second-half quarter and the defense blanked one of the top offenses in Section VI.

Springville first got on the board with a 35-yard run by Topher Elkins in the third quarter that was followed by a Devin Bruno 2-point conversion. Then in the fourth, Bryson Black found the endzone from 1-yard out.

Despite the lopsided first half, Jamestown only amassed 98 more total offensive yards than Springville for the game. Like so many of the other games this season, the Griffs had more rushing yards than its opposition. Running-by-committee has been a successful theme this season as again four backs carried the bulk of the load netting between 40-90 yards each. Elkins led the pack primarily because of his 35-yard scamper for the first Springville touchdown, but finished with a team-high 90 yards on the ground. Bruno added 55, while Jordan Salzler and Matt Evans combined for an addition 85 yards with the pair almost evenly splitting that total with 43 to the former and 42 to the latter.

Almost 20 Springville players recorded tackles, but part of Springville’s inspired second-half defensive play could be attributed to Jake Bystryk. While the senior has patiently waited in the wings for some consistent playing time, he delivered against the Red Raiders. Bystryk was in on a team-high six tackles with 1.5 for losses. His team-leading four solo tackles alone were more than 16 of his teammates’ total tackles. Only Joe Kehr was in on as many tackles as Bystryk, with a single solo stop.

Sean Barry registered four tackle assists and Josh Steff was in on three tackles to round out the top defensive players. Adding a pair of solo stops each were Brendan Doktor and Jackson Richert.

Springville continues on the road this week against Fredonia at 7 p.m. Sept. 29. The Fredonia roster also has players from Brocton and Westfield high schools.

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