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Keenan picks up first win as Wellsville football coach, 8-man Lions win, B-R wins to set up matchup Friday in the Lions Den

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New Wellsville football coach Tim Keenan, right, gets ready to lead the Lions against C.G. Finney in Rochester.

By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com

ROCHESTER — It was a close battle through and through up north in Rochester on Saturday between the Lions of Wellsville and host C.G. Finney/Northstar. The degree of separation was just two points.

In the end, the Lions made absolutely certain that they were going to get win number one for first-year head coach Tim Keenan, as Wellsville, after being down 26-6 in the second half, survived an incredible duel with a 28-26 come-from-behind season-opening victory.

Jack Davis was responsible for giving the Lions (1-0) their first touchdown of the season to finish up a 6-6 tie with C.G. Finney/Northstar in the first quarter on his 45-yard touchdown from Brennan Geffers.

After the hosts in green and yellow sprung ahead going into the half, the lead was branched out even further to 20 points – the largest margin for a lead in the game.

But the comeback for Wellsville was officially on in the third quarter, as they accounted for 22 unanswered points beginning with another long passing play from Geffers to JJ Howard – a 44-yard touchdown to trim the deficit to 26-14.

The momentum continued into the fourth quarter where Wellsville found a way to cap off a remarkable rally with Brennan Geffers finding an open seam to scamper off on a 75-yard touchdown to the house, making it a four-point ballgame.

Xander Outman would cap off the game with the final score on the ground deep in the C.G. Finney/Northstar red zone, near the goal line, scoring from four yards out, pairing it with a two-point conversion to claim a monstrous 28-26 win.

Wellsville recorded 308 yards of total offense against C.G. Finney/Northstar, while the defense was paced by a seven-tackle performance from JJ Howard. Jack Davis had four tackles, while Trenton Green and Sam Childs each had three.

The Lions are back home for their home opener in the Den this Friday night, as they host their crosstown rival Bolivar-Richburg in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Wellsville 6 0 8 14 — 28

Finney/Northstar 6 8 12 0 —26

Bolivar-Richburg 8-man victory: MacDonell scores clutch pair of 4th quarter TDs to propel B-R towards season-opening win at Frewsburg

FREWSBURG — The Friday Night Lights are officially flicked back on for this Fall. But for the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg in their second season of 8-Man, that wait was pushed out to just one extra day when they officially hit the road on Saturday to battle the Frewsburg Bears to open their 2023 campaign.

It was a first game in which the Wolverines found themselves behind the eight ball in the early stages of the fourth quarter, thanks to a two-touchdown evening from Frewsburg’s Harrison Eckert in the backfield. But Bolivar-Richburg had a much bigger response to provide as their counterattack.

How about two huge scores from Tavyn MacDonell?

The Bolivar-Richburg running back exploded from the backfield with style to help give his team the lead away from the Bears, scoring from just outside the red zone to do so, and then cementing the victory for good from the goal line on what was their final drive of the game, as the defense held the fort done in the last minutes to officially secure the season-opening 24-16 win over the road.

After the Wolverines (1-0) punted and turned the ball over on downs in their first two drives, they proved the third drive was indeed the charm when a humongous 43-yard pass from Caden Allen to Trey Buchholz pinned Bolivar-Richburg deep into Frewsburg territory at the 20-yard line. After a pair of rushes by MacDonell to inch them closer, Allen used his arm once again to deliver a five-yard strike to Maddox Davison to pick up the 6-0 lead.

Later on in the second quarter, Bolivar-Richburg’s lead grew after a short Frewsburg punt landed the Wolverines at the opposing 34-yard line. After a series of short runs and a 10-yard pass from Allen to Buchholz, the Wolverines senior quarterback used his legs to motor into the end zone himself on a 4-yard scamper.

Frewsburg would ultimately find their way onto the board themselves right before the end of the half across a near quarter-long drive that resulted in a three-yard score from Harrison Eckert, along with a successful two-point conversion to cut the Bolivar-Richburg lead to four at the break.

Despite no scoring in the third quarter on either side, the tide began to turn for the host Bears beginning with their defense, as they forced two crucial turnovers of the Wolverines — an interception from Trent Lewis, as well as a fumble recovery by Andreas Fountaine off a rush by MacDonell at midfield. The latter of which helped result in Frewsburg’s go-ahead score to begin the fourth quarter, as Eckert found the end zone from five yards out, pairing it with another two-point conversion to take a 16-12 lead.

Not long after the Bears score, the Wolverines came right back and drove down the field on their next possession. Led by a 16-yard pass from Allen to Trevor Pforter to enter Frewsburg territory even further, MacDonell would go on to use his motor to finish it off himself on a 23-yard touchdown to give them the lead right back, ultimately for good.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

To help cement the victory, MacDonell would find the end zone one last time on what was Bolivar-Richburg’s final drive of offense after helping pave the way himself through another series of rushes, completing it from the goal line with his second score and a 24-16 lead, all before the Wolverines defense in turn could force back-to-back incompletions deep in their own territory to end the game.

Bolivar-Richburg finished with 204 total yards of offense, with MacDonell’s 65 yards and two scores helping carve the way. Allen finished with 133 all-purpose yards under center and on the run with his pair of scores. On defense, Allen led the charge once more with his team-high eight tackles. Zach Mitchell had six tackles, while Kingston Loucks and Trey Buchholz each followed with 5.5 and five tackles respectively.

MacDonell and Pforter each had a sack against the Frewsburg offense.

The Wolverines will continue the season-opening road swing next week, but this time, not too far away from home, as they take a trip over the summit and come into Wellsville to meet the Lions for a 7 p.m. kickoff in the Den, Friday night.

Bolivar-Richburg 6 6 0 12 – 24

Frewsburg 0 8 0 8 – 16

Scoring Summary

1st

B-R – Maddox Davison 5-yard pass from Caden Allen, 2-pts failed (6-0 B-R)

2nd

B-R – Caden Allen 4-yard run, 2-pts failed (12-0 B-R)

FRW – Harrison Eckert 3-yard run, 2-pts good (12-8 B-R)

3rd

None

4th

FRW – Harrison Eckert 5-yard run, 2-pts good (16-12 FRW)

B-R – Tavyn MacDonell 23-yard run, 2-pts failed (18-16 B-R)

B-R – Tavyn MacDonell 1-yard run, 2-pts failed (24-16 B-R)

Total Yards: B-R 204, FRW 223.

Passing: B-R 79, FRW 89.
Rushing: B-R 125, FRW 134.

First Downs: B-R 12, FRW 13.
Turnovers: B-R 2, FRW 0.
Penalties: B-R 2-15, FRW 7-63.
Punts: B-R 2-19, FRW 4-19.
T.O.P: 23:45, FRW 37:14.

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