By Sam Wilson
No matter the competition, through five weeks the Franklinville/Ellicottville football team keeps rolling.
The Class D Titans played up in classification against ‘C’ John F. Kennedy Saturday and piled up 596 yards of total offense on 56 plays for an eye-popping 10.6 per play. Never punting in a four-touchdown day for senior quarterback Brock Blecha, F/E ran away with a 52-14 victory.
Starting 3-0 in Class D including a win over defending sectional champ Maple Grove, the Titans (5-0) earned their second non-league victory against a bigger school Saturday.
“Thus far the kids have stepped up at every challenge,” coach Chad Bartoszek said. “I’ve got to say I was a little nervous about today just being a day game, a trip to Buffalo, we as a staff don’t like being off-schedule and different travel arrangements. But we did have an extra day of prep and it really showed in some of our execution up front early on. Our bigs gave us some room and as you can see, we’ve got some bigs who can do some damage with the football.”
Blecha completed 9-of-13 passes for 209 yards and ran 13 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns. More than half of his passing yardage went to senior Austin Grinols, who pulled down a 56-yard touchdown pass and finished with three catches for 112 yards.
Classmate Griffin Chudy led F/E rushers with 129 yards and two scores on 16 attempts and caught two passes for 46 yards. After starting at H-back last season, Chudy carved out an even bigger role in F/E’s backfield this year. He also helped spring a 50-yard Blecha touchdown run on F/E’s first play of the game.
“That kid has worked hard,” Bartoszek said. “He’s definitely got a knack for making big blocks, we still love to use him as that but the kid runs hard, he is just a tough out back there. Every time he’s going to work and it’s tough to deal with. Then you see we can use him in the pass game as well, so we’ve got multiple weapons, we like to try to be as multiple as possible. The key is just we’ve got to be selfless as far as our commitment to the team. Everyone’s got to be all-in together.”
Junior Jacob Peters added 85 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Blecha and Peters made a team-high four solo tackles each and Grinols had an interception. Walter Woodarek made a stop at the 1-yard line for a safety in the third quarter, helping make up for a Blecha fumble at the goal line.
For JFK (3-2), quarterback James Bailey threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-29 passing. The Titans held the Bears to 60 rushing yards to their own 387.
Reaching the Section 6 Class D championship game the last three seasons and winning in 2015, the Titans have aspirations to return to New Era Field and beyond.
“I want to go all the way we can this year, go undefeated through the regular season and all the way to The Ralph and even farther than that,” Blecha said. “I think this team can do it. We have the potential to make it all the way and it’s going to be a challenge. We’ve got to go game by game, we can’t look that far ahead, but I believe that with the people we’ve got and the energy on the football team that we can make it really far this year and I’m looking forward to it.”
That perspective is just how Bartoszek likes his team to view the season. So while his team may dream big, he still wants to clean up its 110 penalty yards Saturday and a second-quarter JFK touchdown drive against the F/E first-team defense.
“It’s our job as coaches to keep them as grounded as possible but allow them to be confident,” he said.
F/E 22 6 17 7 — 52
JFK 0 6 0 8 — 14
F/E – Brock Blecha 50 run (1 play, 50 yards); pass failed, 6-0
F/E – Blecha 1 run (4 plays, 32 yards); Blecha run, 14-0
F/E – Griffin Chudy 1 run (7 plays, 61 yards); Austin Grinols pass from Blecha, 22-0
F/E – Blecha 1 run (6 plays, 73 yards); pass failed, 28-0
JFK – Nick Baker 9 pass from James Bailey (9 plays, 76 yards); pass failed, 28-6
F/E – Grinols 56 pass from Blecha (4 plays, 75 yards); Blecha run, 36-6
F/E – Safety. Walter Woodarek sacks Bailey for 1-yard loss, 38-6
F/E – Chudy 23 run (7 plays, 45 yards); Blecha kick, 45-6
JFK – Justin Bohrer 58 pass from Bailey (2 plays, 62 yards); Jordan Snyder run, 45-14
F/E – Jacob Peters 11 run (7 plays, 77 yards); Peters kick, 52-14
First Downs 27 12
Rushes-Yards 43-387 16-60
Passing Yards 209 202
Comp-Att.-Int. 9-13-0 12-29-1
Total Offense 596 262
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 10-110 8-85
Punts-Avg. 0-0.0 4-17.3
Total Plays 56 45