Titans Take Down Cards 38-14 In ‘D’
RANDOLPH — A methodical first two drives only worked so long for Randolph on Friday night.
Eventually, Franklinville/Ellicottville made the big plays to pull away.
The Titans scored 24 points during in a 6-minute, 39-second span at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third to pull away from the Cardinals for a 38-14 Class D victory at Raymond Van Wie Field.
“They came out and punched us in the mouth. … I was proud of the way our guys responded,” Franklinville/Ellicottville head coach Jason Marsh said. “We didn’t panic and we stuck together. Each time they scored, we had a response.”
Franklinville/Ellicottville, which remains in a first-place tie with Clymer/Sherman/Panama in the league, improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in Class D play while Randolph dropped to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the division.
“Any time you come up here and get a win, it feels good,” Marsh added. “Randolph is a great football team. They are physical, they are well coached. We knew it was going to be a physical game.”
The Cardinals led 14-7 after Tristan Farnham’s 7-yard touchdown run with 10:45 left in the second quarter and the teams traded punts on their next two drives, but then the Titans took over.
Facing a third-and-10 at the 30-yard line, quarterback Isaac Towne hooked up with Noah Shenk for a 70-yard touchdown pass and catch that made it 14-all after Owen Doherty’s second of five successful point-after kicks.
“We knew what we had in Noah on the outside. He ran a good route and got a step on the guy,” Marsh said. “Isaac threw a great ball and the pass protection on that play was excellent. We just went out and made a play.”
“We worked on that all week long and said ‘Don’t let No. 24 get behind you,'” Randolph head coach Brent Brown said. ” … He got behind us.”
Randolph fumbled a handoff on its next play from scrimmage, but recovered the ball.
The Cardinals weren’t so lucky on their next play as Talon Rowland dropped back to pass out of the wildcat formation and threw a pass intended for Kevin Herrington that was intercepted by Franklinville/Ellicottville’s Hunter Smith near midfield and returned to the 25-yard line.
“Everyone has to be sound and in their gaps. You have to play downhill to stop that run. It does get a little difficult,” Marsh said of stopping Randolph’s running game. “But the kids knew the situation, read their keys and put themselves in position for the interception.”
Five plays later, Billy Slavinski scored on a 3-yard plunge to make it 21-14 with 1:37 left in the first half.
But the Titans weren’t still done scoring in the first half.
Randolph fumbled an option pitch on its second play from scrimmage of the ensuing drive and Doherty put a 29-yard field goal through the uprights with 28 seconds left in the quarter to make it 24-14 at halftime.
“Mistakes kill us,” Brown said. “We’ve made some mistakes this year like putting the ball on the ground, but we made some other mistakes.”
Franklinville/Ellicottville received the second-half kickoff and Beau Bielecki broke to the outside of the Cardinals’ coverage team, returning the ball to the 1-yard line. From there, Slavinski scored to make it 31-14, essentially putting the game to bed.
“Right after that kickoff return, their morale dropped,” Smith said. “That dropped all of their hopes and they had to dig for something after that.”
“We blew up at the end of the first half,” Brown said. “They returned a kickoff in the second half so it was hard to do 12-minute drives to come back.”
NOTES: Maverick Adams scored Randolph’s first touchdown on a 10-yard run. … Smith scored Franklinville/Ellicottville’s first touchdown on a 53-yard run and Towne scored its last on a 1-yard run. … Farnham ran for 100 yards for the Cardinals and Smith ran for 95 yards for the Titans. … Smith led Franklinville/Ellicottville with nine tackles while Towne and Zack Gibas had tackles for a loss. … Franklinville/Ellicottville hosts Cattaraugus-Little Valley in Franklinville next Friday while Randolph travels to Wilson that night.
Franklinville/Ellicottville 7 17 14 0 — 38
Randolph 7 7 0 0 — 14
Ran–Adams 10 run (Nelson kick)
F/E–Smith 53 run (Doherty kick)
Ran–Farnham 7 run (Nelson kick)
F/E–Shenk 70 pass from Towne (Doherty kick)
F/E–Slavinski 3 run (Doherty kick)
F/E–Doherty 29 FG
F/E–Slavinski 1 run (Doherty kick)
F/E–Towne 1 run (Doherty kick)