Joe Trippi helped carry the load in Eden\'s 20-14 win at Olean. The Raiders finished with more than 300 yards on the ground. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
A little while after the Eden girls volleyball team had wrapped up a title at the Frontier Invitational by winning a third and decisive set over Orchard Park and the schools’ boys volleyball team qualified for the final of the Lockport Tournament before falling to the host, the Raiders’ football team was putting the finishing touches on a crucial win of their own at Olean.
Eden’s football team kept its playoff hopes alive and did it all on the ground. The Raiders recorded all 308 yards of their offense with their run game in a 20-14 win. Using that ground attack, Eden got out to a 12-0 first quarter lead, added a third rushing touchdown of the day from Alex Smythe and two-point pass from Nick Sarratori to Jess Vondell to extend the lead to 20, and then held on against a strong passing team in Olean.
Smythe finished with 175 of those yards on 33 carries and ran twice for scores of 8 yards and hit paydirt another time from 2 yards out. Fellow senior Joe Trippi ran for 73 yards on 16 carries. Sarratori completed all three of his passes but for zero yards.
Defensively, Vondell led the team with eight tackles, while junior Ryan Shaw added seven, including three sacks. Jacob Ehrig added a sack and Smythe, a fumble recovery. Olean had the ball in the final minutes of the game, but Eden’s defense held and forced the host to turn it over on downs.
Eden moved into a fourth-place tie with Springville at 2-2 for the final sectional playoff spot from Class B South. But the Raiders still have some work to do as they face teams ahead of them over the final two weeks of the regular season. They’re at Depew on Oct. 11 and host Pioneer Oct. 19.
At the Frontier tournament, Eden was led by all-tournament selections Heather Holscher, Lainy Pierce and Meghan Ballou. The small school Raiders came back from a 25-15 opening-set loss to large school power O.P. to take the next two, 26-17 and 16-14. The Eden boys fell 25-8 and 25-20 and were led by all-tournament honorees Declan Pierce and Hayden Herc.