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Springville’s comeback falls short against division front-runner Depew

WILDCAT OFFENSE BLOWS PAST GRIFFINS — Dylan Sekuterski is chased by Springville’s Devin Pazzuti in Depew’s 28-15 win Sept. 20. Photo by Dave DeLuca.

SPRINGVILLE — The first half of the game couldn’t have gone any better for Depew on Sept. 20, on the Springville-Griffith Institute Pop Warner turf. The visiting Wildcats quieted the home crowd, scoring 21 points to take a commanding lead over Springville as the first half came to a close.

Springville would storm back in the second half, scoring the next 15 points to make a game of it, but a late-game touchdown by Depew junior tailback Rodney Turner and an interception closed out a 28-15 win.

“We knew we were in for a battle,” Depew coach Brian Wilson said. “We haven’t played [Springville] in a very long time but, over the years, it’s always been a really good battle. We expected their best and we got it tonight. We were just very fortunate to come through on top.”

Turner, a three-year varsity junior, was Depew’s workhorse, carrying the ball 30 times for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns. The junior tailback scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 4 yards, to pace the Wildcats offensive attack.

“Rodney is just a tough, tough kid,” said Wilson, about his standout running back. “He knows that he’s going to carry the mail for us and he just rises to the occasion, time in and time out. He took some good shots today and he just keeps getting up and banging it. He gets stronger as the game goes on.”

Through three games, Turner has amassed 405 yards and 8 touchdowns. While Depew picked up the win, Turner isn’t satisfied.

“It was a great win, but we have to improve; we have to improve for next week,” said Turner, referring to next week’s game with defending Class B champion Alden. “We made our mistakes; we had our up and downs; we just have to overcome them.”

Springville had some life, following a 36-yard touchdown run by senior Nate Wolcott. Wolcott took the handoff, reversed field and brought Springville within 21-7 with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter. Minutes later, Springville’s Devin Pazzuti blocked a Depew punt and Pat O’Brien returned it to the 20-yard line to flip the field.

Ethan Benz started the second half at quarterback for Springville as Devin White-Kearns went down on the last play of the first half. Benz scored from 1 yard out and Josh Cieslica ran in the 2-point conversation to make the score 21-15 with 10:39 remaining in the game. Turner and company would respond on a six-play drive, to regain their 2-touchdown lead. Depew’s interception, late in the fourth, sealed the victory.

Leading the defensive effort for the Wildcats was Derrick Sekuterski, who finished with 11 tackles and two sacks. Derek is the older brother of Dylan Sekuterski, who started the game at quarterback for Depew, replacing Anthony Buono while the senior is recovering from a broken collarbone.

Dylan Sekuterski quarterbacked the junior varsity team to an 8-1 record, a year ago. Besides giving the ball to Turner 30 times, Dylan Sekuterski, a junior, went three for six, passing for 53 yards and scoring on touchdown runs of 1 and 4 yards.

Springville’s Andy Suffoletto picked off Sekuterski twice in the loss. Cieslica was in on a team-high 11 tackles for the Griffins, who fell to 1-2 on the season.

With the win, Depew improves to 3-0 and will host Alden on Sept. 28 in a battle of two undefeated teams. Alden upped its record to 3-0 by beating Hutch-Tech 29-22 in a non-league matchup. Depew hasn’t defeated Alden since 2007. That year, Depew won the Section VI crown. Alden has won it the past three seasons.

Springville-Griffith Institute will host Salamanca on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

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