The Wolverines had another rough go of it on Friday evening, falling to the Pembroke Dragons, 28-12. The Dragons came to town sporting the same 5-1 record as BR, having been victorious over the same five squads and likewise falling to Canisteo. Circumstances forced BR to do some shuffling of personnel and that went a long way to outcome. BUT.....BR drops to 5-2 on the season.
BR took the opening kick and Ethan Coleman had a lengthy return, but a good portion of the yardage was washed away on a penalty during the return. The Wolverines started on their 35 as a result. They were unable to muster much in the way of a drive, going three and out. Charlie Millitello’s punt, though a solid job, was returned to the BR 45, with Millitelo making the tackle.
The Dragons picked up one first down on their drive. A bad shotgun snap on the second set of downs, pretty much took them away from getting anything else. Tavyn MacDonell, Coleman, Trent Sibble and Caden Allen, making the defensive stops during the drive. On 4th and 7 from the BR 29, Zach Mitchell stopped their run after a minimal gain, turning the ball over on downs.
Starting from their own 25, the usual assortment of running plays methodically moved the pigskin up the field. MacDonell, Allen, Coleman all getting positive yards. Coleman having a couple of 10+ yard runs for first downs. On a 3rd and 5 from the Pembroke 30, Allen rolled to is left and flipped a nice ball to MacDonell for 15 and the first. Eleven yards from Coleman before Allen took it over the middle for the final 4 and the score. The PAT pass fell incomplete, BR 6-0, very late in the First Quarter.
The Wolverines tried to catch the Dragons napping on the ensuing kick, opting for a short kick. However, the visitors were up to the task, falling on the ball near the midfield stripe. One first down run before the end of the quarter, had the Dragons in BR territory. One play after the change of ends and the score was tied as the Pembroke runner eluded a few BR would be tacklers, going the distance. They kicked the PAT for the lead that they would never give up.
On the ensuing kick, Pembroke tried the same thing as BR had, with the same results. MacDonell fell on the ball at the BR 45. A short run by MacDonell, a longer run by Coleman and a short dive by Allen had BR at 4th and very short. Coleman went around the left side, catching the D looking inside. The 13 yard carry had BR set up at the Dragon 33. Another first down creating run by Coleman had BR inside the Red Zone, poised to retake the lead. That never came to pass. Two short runs and a negative yardage play put BR at 4th and 4 at the 10. The pass attempt was well defended turning the ball back to the Dragons.
The Dragons didn’t get much going on this drive Roman Johnston and Sibble making the defensive stops before an incomplete on 3rd and long. A very short punt had BR in fine position yet again.
Tough runs by MacDonell and Coleman (twice) left BR at 4th and 4 from the 29. A bad snap snafu gave BR no chance at conversion, turning the ball back with a fair amount of time to go, yet, in the half.
Two short runs preceded a first down gaining scamper. Maddox Day and Allen coming up with stops. A short run on first down placed the ball over the midfield stripe. Two incompletions, one a pass break up by MacDonell set up 4th and long. Some serious BR pressure forced a bad throw down the middle which was picked by Maddox Davison. His return brought the ball back to the Pembroke side of the field. With the half just about over, BR had time for just one play and the desperation pass was knocked away by the D.
Starting the 2nd half, Milltiello once again made the stop on the kick return, though the Dragons were already out near midfield. A collection of short runs gave the Dragons a first at the BR 44. A pass over the middle followed by an inordinate number of missed tackles and touchdown. The kick was good and just like that, 14-6.
A decent kick return by MacDonell had the ball at the BR 45. Three short runs, the last with a fumble, turned the ball back, and you could sense early in the third this one was slipping away.
Pembroke had a couple of short runs with tackles by Kingston Loucks and Millitello. The third down run went to house, but on the run all but one official dropped their flags. All the penalties going against the offense. So, no TD. Instead, 3rd and long from the BR 49. Outside pressure by Allen on the third down toss forced a pop fly pass. Mitchell settled under it for the pick getting the return back to the line of scrimmage.
The Wolverines then went on a scoring drive, with Sibble carrying the mail most of the way. Several of the runs were the “can’t deny me” sorts as Sibble was bouncing off would be tacklers for much of the way. Trent went the final 13 for the score. The conversion, to tie the score, was unsuccessful, so 14-12 Dragons, with a not much of the third quarter left to be played.
Millitello made a decent kick off, but the return was augmented by a personal foul on BR to set the Dragons up at their own 35. One play was all that was needed for the Dragons to extend their lead via a 65 yard jaunt. The play seemed to happen in slow motion, except for the kid with the ball. The PAT kick was true. If you are a fan of the band Rush, or even if not, you could almost hear the Dragons saying “We have assumed control, we have assumed control” as the score became 21-12.
The 4th quarter started with the ensuing kickoff. Trevor Pforter returned the kick to the BR 40. BR was in full hurry up mode and looking pretty good for awhile. A 10 yard run by MacDonnell shorter runs by Allen and Sibble picked up another first down. MacDonell picked up another first to the Pembroke 26. It appeared for all the world to see that BR was on the verge of trimming the deficit, shortly. However, the drive stalled there as the Defense toughened up and a couple of incompletes brought on by heavy pressure through the line, turned the ball over on downs.
Another BIG run soon followed for the visitors with the kick moved the score to its final margin.
BR had one more push to score going before stalling out inside the Red Zone. Runs by Sibble, Allen, and MacDonell moving the chains along. BR also benefited from a face mask call along the way. But again, their D came up with a series of solid plays to squelch the drive.
After one more lengthy run, where the Dragon runner mercifully surrendered himself well short of the goal, against many of BR’s younger players, the clock worked its way to zeroes.
For the numbers crunchers, Sibble had 90 yards and a score on the ground. Coleman went for 85, MacDonell for 44 and Allen 23 and a score. The passing game never really found its form but Allen did have the nice toss to MacDonell for a key first down pick up.
BR hosts the Red Jacket squad in a rematch of opening weekend. The game will have a big effect on the playoff positioning. It will also be a big measuring stick for improvement of the squads. I can safely say that it will be a tad cooler than the first weekend up in Shortsville. Gametime will be 7 o’clock on Friday. Red Jacket is 3-3 at this moment with their 7th game to be played on Saturday.