SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute junior varsity football lost its second game of the season Thursday, Sept. 20 to the East Aurora Blue Devils by a score of 7 – 0.
After struggling to sustain East Aurora’s offense, the Griffs saw an opening, during the fourth quarter.
Springville’s Tom Schweickert faked a punt, with the Griffs on their own 20-yard line and a fourth and 23.
Schweickert took the snap and took off to the left side, where he was swarmed by the East Aurora defense; he eluded the Blue Devil defenders, on his way to a 25-yard pickup, for a first down.
“Tommy is a unique athlete. He thought he could get a first down and win the football game,” Coach Greg Hodges said. “He broke six tackles and carried three defenders, for a first down.”
The Griffs fumbled a few plays later and the Blue Devils hung on, for a 7 – 0 victory.
“We had a very short week of practice, going into the East Aurora game,” Hodges said. “Coming off the tough loss to Burgard, we had three days of preparation going into [East Aurora]. I think the first loss of the year was in the back of everyone’s head, for the short week of prep.”
The Griffs were stopped on the East Aurora 5-yard line on the fourth down, early in the game. Leading the offense was Schweickert, who had 72 yards on 10 carries.
Wide receiver Devin Pazzuti led the Griffs down the field, late in the first half, on a 34-yard run off of a reverse. This drive stalled, as the clock ran out in the first half.
The only score of the game was the conclusion of a 95-yard East Aurora drive.
Springville Assistant Coach Bill Dickinson said that he was not happy about that long-sustaining East Aurora drive. “All it was, was shoving it down our throat,” he said. “All they did was line up, toe-to-toe and said, ‘Ha! Here we come,’ and they went 95 yards.”
The defense was led by sophomore Pazzuti, who racked up 13 tackles and an interception.
Pazzuti returned to football this year, after sitting out one year, while competing in cross-country. Hodges said that he was glad to hear that this sophomore player was going to return to football. “Having Devin is a huge gain for us,” he said. “He’s a two-way starter and just a lead-by-example type kid, who comes to practice every day, works his butt off and it shows, on game day.”
Also on defense was sophomore Patrick O’Brian, who was close behind Pazzuti, with 12 tackles and an interception.
“Despite the one drive, our defense did a great job holding East Aurora to 7 points,” Hodges said. “After they scored, our guys really buckled down.
“Between fumbles, missed snaps and mental errors, we couldn’t connect for a touchdown,” he added. “I watched the game tape and after the game was over, we should have had 4 touchdowns that we just couldn’t connect on. Little things; little things add up to a big thing, inch by inch, yard by yard; every inch adds up. That’s what happened. Little things that we had perfected all year. Little stuff, bad snaps, miss-assignments, bad reads.”
The Griffins also took on rival Pioneer Central School on Wednesday, Sept. 26.