Quite The Combo
Butera, Drake Lead Red Raiders Past Frontier, 20-14
The play was drawn up last Sunday at Jamestown head coach Tom Langworthy’s home during a meeting with his staff.
It couldn’t have been executed any better five days later.
Junior quarterback Trey Drake connected with senior running back Jaylen Butera on a 76-yard touchdown pass with just under seven minutes remaining Friday night to send the Red Raiders to a 20-14 victory over Frontier in a Class A football game at Strider Field.
The win keeps Jamestown, the second-ranked team in the state, unbeaten at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the division. The ninth-ranked Falcons, meanwhile, fell to 2-1 and 2-1 in a game that could have gone either way.
“When I envisioned this game through my head, I knew it was going to be a nail-biter,” Langworthy said. “What I was hoping and praying for was our kids would battle and stay together, and they did. That’s what makes me proud.”
Of course, the player in the middle of it all was Butera — with a huge assist from Drake.
With the Red Raiders facing a second down from their own 24 nearing the midway point of the final period and the game tied 14-all, Drake completed a pass to Butera, who ran a hitch pattern in the middle of the field. Wide open, the 6-foot-2, 196-pounder caught the pass, and seeing nothing but green in front of him, took off for the end zone.
He wasn’t pulled down until he had crossed the goal line.
The point-after try was blocked, but Jamestown led, 20-14, with 6:57 remaining.
It proved to be just enough.
“We actually anticipated it to be that wide open,” said Drake, who finished 14 of 17 through the air for 217 yards and the two scoring connections with Butera. “We were setting it up the entire game and, sure enough, that’s what happened.”
The Red Raiders forced a punt on the Falcons’ ensuing possession and immediately found themselves in scoring position when substitute Radon Wright — filling in for the cramping Butera — ripped off a 35-yard run to give the hosts a first down at the Frontier 25. While the drive stalled and the Falcons took over on downs at their own 16 with 2:56 remaining, field position had been flipped.
That turned out to be very important.
Because Frontier wasn’t done.
Quarterback Austin Lippert completed a 5-yard pass; a 15-yard penalty on Jamestown for a late hit at the end of the play moved the ball to the Falcons’ 36; and another Lippert completion — this time for 18 yards to Gavin Borrello — gave the Erie County school a first down at the Red Raiders’ 46.
The Red Raiders’ defense then stepped up.
Wright and Jarel Farmer sacked Lippert for a loss of five yards. On the next play, the Falcons were flagged for holding, and on third-and-30, Lippert, under pressure from Jamestown lineman Caleb Bane, was intercepted by Jaquez Thomas. His 26-yard return gave the Red Raiders a first down at the Frontier 37 with 1:52 remaining. Three Drake kneel-downs and the game was over.
While Butera continued his eye-popping season — he rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown and caught five passes for 123 yards and two more scores — the outcome hinged on plays from other sources, too.
Ben Anderson had nine tackles, including four for loss, and a sack; Sean O’Brien had eight tackles, including two for loss, and caught five passes for 77 yards; Sincere Green made six stops; Travon Blakeslee had four tackles; and Thomas had the game-clinching interception.
It was just the outcome Langworthy had hoped it would be after last week’s 42-37 skin-of-his-teeth victory at Williamsville South.
“This is a different league than it was in the spring,” he said. “One week at a time. We’ve gone 1-0 three times. That’s our goal. We just want to win one game a week.”
The Red Raiders will be back in action next Friday when they travel to West Seneca West (1-2), which lost to Hamburg, 24-0, last night.
NOTES: Butera’s other touchdowns were a 31-yard run and a 33-yard reception from Drake, both in the first quarter. … Lippert scored on a 1-yard dive in the first quarter and Vinnie Monaco, who had an outstanding game, added a 1-yard TD in the third quarter and the subsequent 2-point conversion. … Ella Propheter was successful on two of her three point-after kicks for Jamestown.
Frontier 6 0 8 0 — 14
Jamestown 14 0 0 6 — 20
JHS–Butera 31 run (Propheter kick)
Fron–Lippert 1 run (kick fail)
JHS–Butera 33 pass from Drake (Propheter kick)
Fron–Monaco 1 run (Monaco run)
JHS–Butera 76 pass from Drake (kick fail)