The Springville defense that had yielded only two rushing touchdowns in eight games this season was just as stingy Saturday.
The Griffins surrendered only a pair of field goals and mustered just enough offense to pull out a 12-6 victory over host Eden in a Class B quarterfinal.
With the game tied, 6-6, going into the fourth quarter on a muddy field, Josh Cieslica scored the winning points on a 19-yard run. Fullback Chris Phinney tied the game on the opening drive of the third quarter as he found a seam and was gone on a 51-yard run. Phinney also had 14 tackles from his inside linebacker position.
“We played four quarters of defense and offensively we opened up things formation-wise in the second half,” said coach John Sopko. “Phinney had the nice run and we ran our triple option and ran some iso. We didn’t do anything that we haven’t done week in and week out.”
John Morrow kicked field goals of 23 and 26 yards for Eden in the first half.
The win was especially satisfying as Springville lost to Eden in triple overtime in their first meeting. Sopko said his team played Eden tough in that game, but failed to score on three trips inside the Eden 20.
Pioneer and Eden are the only teams to score rushing TDs this season against the Griffins. Springville advanced to the semifinals, where it will play at Cheektowaga.
Msgr. Martin Association
St. Joe’s 56, St. Mary’s 34: Ilo Noble rushed for a 202 yards, becoming the 13th player in St. Joe’s history to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. He also scored on TD runs of 58, 11 and 21 yards. St. Joe’s finished with 451 yards on the ground as Rod Payne added 160 and had 13 tackles, four for losses. Payne found the end zone three times, on runs of 6 and 63 yards and a pass reception of 45 yards.
Tyler Hill and Jack Bargnesi had five tackles each as St. Joe’s blew open a close game with a 28-point third quarter. St. Mary’s RB Nick Vallone rushed for 155 yards on 20 attempts and had a 92-yard kickoff return for a score.
St. Joe’s (7-1) will host rival Canisius (8-0) next Saturday at 1 p.m. in one of the most anticipated games of the season in Western New York. The game will determine the Monsignor Martin Association’s regular season champion as well as playoff positioning. The host Marauders are anticipating advance ticket sales of approximately 4,000.
Frontier 21, Niagara Falls 7: Ben Koch and Cameron Coon scored rushing TDs and Rickey Fitzgerald caught a TD pass as the Falcons won their first playoff game since 1984.
The Falcons, typically a second-half team, jumped to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Fitzgerald’s TD make it 21-0 at halftime.
“We came out like gangbusters,” said coach Tim Myslinski. “That’s the best we’ve ever looked in the first half. In the second half we were having a nice drive, and we’d have an interception and a fumble. We weren’t clicking. It’s funny, usually we’re a second-half team, but we flip-flopped.”
Niagara Falls was held to 148 yards of offense. Frontier plays at Jamestown next week, a team it beat earlier this season.
The Wolverines broke through in the third quarter when Marcus Johnson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. Frontier RB Kenny Kahler gained 88 yards on the ground while Koch threw for 88 yards and added 79 rushing.
Sweet Home 46, Wmsv. East 6: The Panthers appear poised to defend their Class A title, opening the postseason with a convincing win. Kahlil Humphrey rushed for 159 yards and two scores while Jordan Evert added 132 yards and also scored twice. Shatke Virges recovered a fumble and Ethan Reger and Brad Zaffram had interceptions.
JFK 27, Cassadaga Valley 0: Zack Walkowski rushed for 128 yards and two TDs and had two sacks from his linebacker position as the Bears scored all their points in the first half. Nick Anderson had an interception, a fumble recovery, and rushed and threw for TDs.
The Bears (7-1) have won seven straight since a season-opening 28-14 loss at Fredonia.
JFK looks to get even next Saturday when it hosts the Hillbillies at 1:30 p.m.