RUN IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT — Springville’s Devin White-Kearns led the team, running for 122 yards.
SPRINGVILLE — After missing out on the playoffs, the Springville-Griffith Institute varsity Griffins decided to blow the doors off, in the team’s final two games. Springville upended Lewiston-Porter High School 56-0 in the season finale on Oct. 30, to cap off the season. It was the second time in two weeks that the members of the Griffs shut out their opponents, as they shut out Gowanda 34-0 last week, to finish with a record of 4-5.
“They just came out on all cylinders, ready to play in all three aspects of the game,” said Springville coach Rob Valenti. “The last two weeks, we’ve told them ‘it’s all about how you finish or a lot can be said about the way that you finish’. In life, and on the football field, we’re faced with obstacles and things that necessarily don’t go your way. We certainty had expectations of getting to the playoffs and building on the success. But, a lot can be said about the way that you finish. These guys came together. They played together. They played for one another. I think you saw that, in every aspect of the game.”
Springville’s 56-0 win is the second largest point differential in school history and the most points scored by Springville since the 1996 state championship.
Valenti said that the contributor to the team’s offensive attack was a dominant run game. The Griffs pounded out 421 yards rushing. The rushing total was 21 yards shy of the school record set in 1996, as well. Junior Devin White-Kearns led the ground game, running eight times for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nate Wolcott contributed with 10 carries for 108 yards.
“Our offensive line played phenomenal,” said Valenti. “With all due respect to Lew-Port’s line, I think that we were bigger, I think we were faster and we were stronger. Our guys had a good, extremely short week of practice, with only one offensive practice and one defensive practice. But, the Saturday after our Gowanda game, we had the ability to come in and watch film and break down Lew-Port’s 4-3 defense.”
Springville started the scoring with a 6-yard run by Ethan Benz. White-Kearns added touchdown runs of 9 and 34 yards, in the second quarter. Josh Cieslica scored on a 2-yard, with three minutes left in the first half. However, Springville was not finished scoring, as White-Kearns tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Benz, on the last play of the first half. The Griffins took a 35-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was much of the same. Springville scored 3 more touchdowns to continue the team’s dominance. Pat O’Brien scored on an 11-yard run. Junior varsity call-ups Collin Dewitt and Bryce Szudzik added touchdown runs of 2 and 11 yards, respectively.
“It was just great blocking. We really came out strong and we never stopped,” said Nate Wolcott. “We were just really strong and the blocking was there. We just really wanted it.”
The game marked the final high school football game for 16 Springville seniors.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Senior Brandon Ball. “You don’t want it to be over; it’s the worst feeling in the world, knowing that [I’m] done with football probably for the rest of my life. But if you have to go out, this is the way to do it.”
Check future editions of the Journal, as league all-star teams and Springville’s All-Metro first team all-star will be announced, in the coming weeks.