LET ME THROUGH — Nate Wolcott pushes the ball through the crowd, during the game against the Olean Huskies. Springville-Griffith Institute fell to Olean 28-12. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Olean has been involved in some tight games, for much of the year, having lost to Alden, Pioneer and Eden by 9 points or fewer. The Huskies let out some of that frustration by winning their season finale 28-12 against Springville, to improve to 3-4 overall and 2-4 in league play. Springville fell to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in league play.
“We finally put four quarters together and we haven’t been able to do that, all year,” said Olean coach Mike Kane. “Looking back at each game, it’s like, ‘if only we made one more play.’ Tonight started well and we finished it off.”
Springville got on the board first, following a 5-yard touchdown run by Nate Wolcott. Olean would respond, putting together a nine-play, 40-yard drive, that resulted in Olean senior quarterback Chance Anzivine running it in from 1 yard out. Olean running back Jaryd Plaud was stuffed on the initial handoff, but pitched it to Anzivine for the score. Anzivine finished the night 6-of-15 passing, for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“Chance is just a great kid,” said Kane, about his quarterback. “People know what he does on the field, but he works at it 365 days a year; that’s just the kind of kid he is. He has done everything imaginable to make himself better; that’s the beauty of it. He’s a fun kid to coach; I’m definitely going to miss him.”
RUNNING IT DOWN — Olean’s Will Bathhurst made 2 touchdowns and ran for 144 yards, during the win against the S-GI squad. According to the teams’ coaches, he was a major contributor to Olean’s victory.
Olean senior wide out Will Bathurst, who has verbally committed to play basketball at Cornell, had five receptions for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns, in the win. Bathurst hauled in touchdown receptions of 13 and 85 yards.
Olean’s defense yielded 201 yards of total offense and made the plays when they mattered the most. The Huskies stopped Springville on the fourth down, on four separate occasions, while the Griffs were marching into Olean territory. Luke Hennessey returned an interception 40 yards, with less than a minute to go in the first half, to give Olean a 21-6 lead.
Hennessey’s interception return was one of three big plays that the Olean players made, to separate themselves from Springville. Both of Bathurst’s touchdowns came on third and long situations.
With 40 seconds remaining in the first half, Anzivine hooked up with Bathurst for a 13-yard touchdown. The Anzivine-Bathurst connection made another appearance, resulting in an 85-yard score.
Big plays resulted in the Springville men being on the short end of their final home game, according to Springville coach John Sopko.
“There never is just one play, in a game,” said Sopko, following the game. “There are usually four to six plays, in a game, that determine its outcome. Unfortunately, Olean made three or four of those plays.”
Anzivine torched Springville in 2012, throwing for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns, in a losing effort. Sopko added that he felt his players contained the reigning Class B-South Offensive Player of the Year this year, but didn’t make the key plays, when they needed to.
“We just had some critical points of failure with our pass defense, particularly,” added Sopko. “I don’t think that was Anzivine’s best technical throwing day. Overall, I think he played better against us, last year. But when he needed to make a play, he made it.”
Nate Wolcott carried the load for Springville, running 20 times for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown. Wolcott is Springville’s leading rusher on the year, averaging 5.8 yards per touch. His 20 carries against Olean was a season-high for a Springville running back.
“He’s quietly determined; he just refuses to go down,” said Sopko, about Wolcott’s playing style. “He runs with a lot of determination. You just have to look at match-ups. We’ve been on the short end of match-ups, this year. He gave us more of a favorable match-up, because he can create. He just needs a little bit of light, to get loose.”
With the loss, Springville was eliminated from the Class B playoff hunt. Expectations were high entering the year, noted Sopko. After being the Class B runner-up in 2012, his team returned 15 seniors including seven starters, on the defensive side of the ball.
“It might be trite to say, but we’re disappointed,” said Sopko, about finishing the season 2-5 and missing out on the playoffs. “Maybe even more frustrated than disappointed. This season has been a tough one, to say the least.”
Springville will play Gowanda on Oct. 20.