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Friday night lights

Baker’s six TDs lifts Griffins to 52-14 rout of FWB

September 8, 2016
By Gib Snyder III - , Westfield Republican

BROCTON - Springville's Ian Baker put on a show Friday night at Brocton's Memorial Field, as the senior running back ran for 248 yards on 19 carries - most of which came in the first half - and six touchdowns, helping the Griffins (1-0) to a commanding 52-14 win over Class B South foe Fredonia-Westfield-Brocton (0-1).

"Ian's a special player," Springville head coach Eric Jantzi said. "He's chasing every record and if he punches another (touchdown) in, he sets the school record and he's chasing the yardage record. But as a leader, that's the thing we get out of him the most. The linemen give him a great push, but he's a great offensive and defensive player for us."

Baker scored on runs of 3, 15, 47, 44, 4, and 2 yards, helping the Griffins compile 417 yards on 53 attempts on the ground.

Article Photos

Photo by Ron?Szot
Fredonia-Westfield-Brocton’s Joell Colon looks for running room during Friday’s Class B?South high school football game against Springville.

"You knew he was coming back for his senior year and that he was nice and strong," FWB head coach Mike Marshall said of Baker. "Their style of football is right up the middle, it always has been."

Baker got Springville on the board in the first quarter with 6:41 to help put the Griffins up 7-0 after the extra point was good by Connor O'Brien. His second score came with 1:51 left in the opening frame to help push the Springville lead to 14-0.

"We're a triple-option team, so we're going run the ball usually," Jantzi said. "We're going to try and run the ball until (the other team) stops it, then we'll go with play-action or something like that. But yeah, people are going to get a good dose of Ian, and we have a couple of other weapons if (teams) are keying on him."

After Reid Tarnowski found Nicco Pucci from 24 yards out to get FWB to within eight - 14-6 - with 10:03 left in the second quarter, Baker answered right back on the ensuing drive, as he scampered in from 47 yards out for a 20-6 lead with 8:12 left in the first half. He then added a 44-yard jaunt on the Griffins' next drive with 6:11 left in the second quarter, before adding his final score of the first half from 4 yards out with 1:31 left, helping Springville to a 33-6 lead.

"I don't know if it's as bad of a start as you could've thought," Marshall said. "The way I look at it right now, is after watching Springville, we probably just competed against the best team in Section 6 as far as Class B. And with us just bringing three schools together, we're still going through our growing stages. We made an awful lot of mistakes out there. (Springville) basically played mistake-free football, and any of the big plays they had out there, they took advantage of what was given to them."

O'Brien put the icing on the first-half cake after he returned a Tarnowski interception 60 yards for a touchdown and a 39-6 lead with just :08 left on the clock.

"We'll just keep plugging away with what we have," Marshall said. "We rotated three backs in and out of the backfield, and Reid (Tarnowski) had a pretty good game. He threw a couple of interceptions, but a couple of them were guys running the wrong routes or just tripped and fell and the ball happened to land in the other guy's hands."

The second half did not start all that well for FWB either, as Baker capped his night with his sixth touchdown, this one coming on a 2-yard plunge up the middle for a 45-6 lead.

"There were some things that I did like, but when you're outweighed on the line probably 15 or 20 a person, and (the other team) is running up the middle, you're going to get that wedge and pushed back," Marshall said. "We had a couple of good stands, but we also got ran over quite a bit."

Matt Evans, who replaced O'Brien in the third quarter, scored Springville's final touchdown on a 12-yard keeper around the right side, helping the Griffins to a 52-6 lead with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

"We're just happy to get Week 1 under our belts," Jantzi said. "We have a (Class) AA school coming to town next week in Frontier, so that will be a big challenge for us."

Joell Colon gave the FWB faithful one last big play to cheer for on the ensuing kickoff, as he took it 90 yards for a touchdown.

"We had a couple of mess ups on special teams and some things that we need to fix, but we knew we had a pretty solid group (of players) going in," Jantzi said.

FWB finished with just 156 yards of total offense - 78 rushing and 78 passing - with Chris Catalano leading the way with 21 yards on five carries.

"The style of offense that we run is quick hit and full speed," Marshall said. "And what I saw was running backs hesitating at the hole trying to make cuts, and when you do that in this style of offense, you're going to get caught."

FWB will look to have better success next Saturday when it travels to take on the combined Cassadaga Valley-Falconer team at 1:30 p.m.



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