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High School Football Wrap: Eden wins fourth straight to remain unbeaten; Hamburg bests Bennett

Jarrett Dolegala and St. Francis will attempt to bounce back from a lopsided loss to Cathedral Prep this week at Canisius. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Eden not only remained perfect on the season, now at 4-0, with a 35-21 win over Dunkirk but also exacted some revenge on the only other Class B South team besides Pioneer to beat the Raiders over the past three seasons.

The Raiders bounced back from its 12-7 loss last year to Dunkirk with the help of five touchdowns from their junior backfield of Alex Smythe and Garrett DiStefano. Smythe ran for 191 yards on 22 carries and scored on runs of five, 23 and 65 yards, while DiStefano, the team’s first-year fullback, galloped for three and five yard scores. As a team, Eden rushed for 341 yards.

The Raiders answered the game’s opening score by Dunkirk on a 65-yard touchdown run of its own with four straight scores. After Dunkirk pulled back to within 28-21, Smythe all but put the game away on his 65-yard run to pay dirt. Eden senior quarterback Matt Bialy completed 5 of 10 passes for 58 yards and ran and threw for a pair of two-point conversions, the first went to Jake Ehrig. Kyle Gibbon also kicked a successful extra point.

Eden returns home for the first time since Week 1, playing against Olean on Saturday, Sept. 29 during its Homecoming weekend.

The next day in Week 4 action, Hamburg senior quarterback Luke Kramer went to the air to move his team’s offense up and down the field but it was the damage he did on the ground that led the Bulldogs to a second straight win.

Along with throwing for 274 yards and a touchdown, Kramer ran for three scores in Hamburg’s 28-12 win over Bennett on Saturday (Sept. 22). He scored from eight, one and 10 yards out, all coming in the first half, to help Hamburg even its record at 2-2.

Also enjoying a huge performance in the win was Kyle Violanti, who was the recipient of much that success through the air, catching four balls for 173 yards. Kramer connected with Violanti on a 79-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put Hamburg up 28-6. Violanti, also a cornerback, picked off two passes, as well, on defense.

Kramer again led the rushing attack, gaining 54 yards on 16 attempts. Josh Bennett and Vinny Sardo added 27 yards each on the ground, while junior tight end Griffin Ryan caught five balls for 55 yards, along with hauling in a pair of two-point pass plays from Colin Daly.

Leading the defense was senior linebacker Evan Smith, who finished five tackles and a fumble recovery. Daly added five tackles and Kramer, an interception. Hamburg head coach Mike McFadden noted that lineman Kyle Brown excelled on both sides of the ball. Brown also added a fumble recovery.

Also locally, Lake Shore responded right away to an early Iroquois touchdown but couldn’t muster the same resiliency throughout the game in falling 35-7 to Iroquois in Class B South action on Sept. 21. A young Lake Shore falls to 0-4 on the season.

After the Eagles went on a 70-yard scoring drive to even the score at 7-7, head coach Chuck Kowalski said his team made several mistakes giving Iroquois ideal field position for most of the game. Still, he said his team never quit the entire game.

Sophomore quarterback Parker Addison gave a solid performance, completing 7 of 15 passes for 98 yards, while running for 25 more. Kenny LaBarge rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown, while also recording nine tackles and recovering a fumble on defense.

“As hard as the losses are to take, the team is getting better each week, and if we could eliminate turnovers and costly penalties, we would be much more competitive,” Kowalski said.

Also falling to 0-4 was St. Francis, which endured a 69-0 loss to Pennsylvania power Cathedral Prep. Manny Willams ran 27 times for 71 yards to lead the Red Raiders’ rushing attack, while Jake Dolegala was 10 of 28 for 88 yards. He hit Kerrick Woyshner four times for 26 yards. Dylan Sager led St. Francis with eight tackles and Elliot Buccieri added seven.

Leading rusher Alex Misterman missed the game after being hobbled during a 28-21 loss to St Joe’s last week. Defending Monsignor Martin champion St. Francis looks for its first win of the season Saturday (Sept. 29) at 4-0 Canisius.

A Look Ahead to Week 5

Friday, September 28
Jamestown (4-0) at Frontier (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
W. Seneca East (4-0) at Hamburg (2-2) 7 p.m.
South Park (1-3) at Lake Shore (0-4), 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 29
St. Francis (0-4) at Canisius (4-0), 1 p.m.
Olean (1-3) at Eden  (4-0), 2 p.m.

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