• The Wolverines started the new season with a rocky, up-and-down, rollercoaster of a game, prevailing against Frewsburg, 24-16, at the home of the Bears on Saturday night.  As far as I can recall, this was the first time this century (at least), BR has gone against Frewsburg in ANYTHING. Also, the game may possibly have been the longest non-overtime game in the history of games!

    BR won the toss and received the opening kickoff. That would be the lone positive for the first little while.  A false start, a negative play, two short runs had BR lining up to punt.  The snap was a little squirrely and Caden Allen did all he could to corral the ball and get the kick away.  The ball settling only at the BR 34. 

    Frewsburg’s first play from scrimmage looked to go the distance, but wait what’s that on the ground back near the line of scrimmage?  Is it something yellow?  Why yes it was, and it was just the first of many that would end up being part and parcel to the outcome.  From there, BR’s D came up with a stellar series of downs. Short gains with smart tackles from Zach Mitchell and Tavyn MacDonell set up third and long.  On the third down play, Trevor Pforter came through the left side of the O Line to tackle the QB for a sack and a loss. 4th down, a short gain and another fine tackle by MacDonell turned the ball over to BR.

    Starting from their own 33, BR pieced together the first scoring drive of the season. A short pickup by Trey Buchholz then one by MacDonell gave BR 3rd and longish.   Short pass from Allen to Buchholz turned into a big gainer as Trey went down the left sideline for 43 and first down on the edge of the Red Zone.   Allen went for 4, then MacDonell had runs of 7, 3, and 1.  3rd and goal at the five  and a little rollout flip of a pass from Allen to, I have to be honest with my eyesight, vantage point, the lighting and the uniforms, I’m not 100%, I thought it was Maddox Davison, but… The Two point try went for naught.  BR 6-0.

    An effective kickoff and coverage started the Bears on their 18.  A three and out with tackles by Allen, Mitchell and MacDonell, among others in the scrum, forced the Bears into punt position.  Something they never seemed to get right on this evening.  The ball rolled to a stop at the Bear 39, gifting BR with a very short field.  Offsides on the  D helped even more as the quarter ended.

    To start the 2nd, a short gain, then a no gain and an incomplete pass forced BR into decision time.  On 4th and 6 Allen connected with Buchholz for 10 and the first. A bunch of runs by MacDonell and Allen, with another Allen to Buchholz hookup had BR at the 4.  Allen called his own number and rumbled in for the score.   The PAT pass was incomplete, BR 12-0 and hey, things were looking kind of easy.

    Possibly the longest 6 minutes of football followed.

    The Wolverines tried a little chicanery hoping to catch the Bears off guard and also maybe to start sealing the deal, maybe early.   The Onside kick attempt was oh so close to be successful but instead gave the Bears BE-YOU-T-FUL field position just a tad on their side of the fifty.  The Bears got a couple of first downs to get down to the BR 14.  A holding call again on a coulda been a TD for the hosts followed. A big chunk of  yards then ANOTHER hold and a short run with a good stuff by Roman Johnston had the Bears facing 4th and 20 and the 23.  A timeout where  they drew up a beaut, scoring on the 23 yard strike.  Their PAT try worked to perfection, and we got us a ball game, everyone, BR 12-8.

    BR went 3 and out on their follow up possession. Punting the ball away to allow the Bears to start at their 44.  There was an injury time out somewhere in this sequence. Fortunately, all players returned to action shortly thereafter.

    A short run, an incomplete, and, yes, another holding penalty had Frewsburg facing 3rd and 15.  A sweep left and the runner was tackled by MacDonell.  From my perspective, the runner was CLEARLY inbounds on the tackle, the stripes crew weren’t sure of themselves, and for some reason discussions were held for a long time but the half had ended, BR 12-8.

    A big MacDonell kick off started the second half placing the ball at the 23 of Frewsburg to start.  Three and out and BR was getting the ball back.  A hold and two incompletes and BR was looking at a 3rd and 20.  A tipped ball was the first turnover of the game with  the Bears taking over on their own 28.

    One first down and then three and out for the home side.  Allen, MacDonell, and Davison making stops along the way.  Forced to punt from the BR 49 and a nifty return by Kingston Loucks netted the Bears 4 yards as BR was set up on their own 45.

    Allen for 11 and first down.  Two short runs by Allen and two short runs by MacDonell did not combine for 10 yards, so the ball was turned over on downs.

    Frewsburg fared no better on their set of downs. Mitchell and MacDonell made three nice plays to force another punt.  BR would start on their 47. 

    The ensuing play was disastrous from a BR perspective.  Long after the BR runner had stopped forward progress, Frewsburg was able to pry the ball out for a fumble turnover at their own 48.

    A pass and a couple of runs put the Bears at the Wolverine 30 as time ticked off to end the 3rd. A run, a short version facemask call against BR, and a few more short runs before the Bears would punch it in from 5 out.  Again, they clicked on the 2 point try to take the lead 16-12, BR.

    Buchholz got a big answer on the kickoff, picking up 32 yards, giving BR possession on the Bear 46. A run by Allen, then a nice pitch and catch, Allen to Pforter with a kid on his back 1st and 10 at the Bears’ 23.  MacDonell took it the rest of the way.  Again, the two point try was stuffed but BR had regained the advantage 18-16.

    The BR kick coverage once again proved up to the task allowing the host side to start only at their 29. Three stout D plays by Buchholz, Aiden Smith, MacDonell, and others forced another 4th down situation.  On the 4th down play, the QB running for his life was caught from behind by Buchholz for a loss of 5 and BR ball.

    The run game was on full display as the Wolverines pounded their way down inside the 10.  A bit of a chess match followed as the Bears were content with surrendering the TD as they felt it would be their only hope to get back in this one with time ticking away.  In fact, they olay’ed on a run by Allen.  Allen stopped, dropped but did not roll at the Bear one, thus forcing more precious time off the clock.  Milking it as much as possible BR called a timeout, then handed to MacDonell who fell in for the BR score.  Once again, the PAT try was unsuccessful. BR 24-16.  Just a touch over a minute was left and seems like this one was done.  Quoting the movie Tommy Boy, “Not so fast, Lee Harvey”.

    With another fine kick in addition to another flag on the home side (block in the back, this time) Frewsburg was forced to start at their ten.

    BR started to play a bit softer, let’s say, on the D side, playing to bend not break.

    A couple of hookups and a sizeable gainer moved the ball out to the Bear 42. More good runs and another completion and “Schnikees” the Bears were close but, out of time outs and time a wasting.  An incomplete wasn’t the worst thing for them.

    Now a play vaguely reminiscent of the 1972 Men’s Olympic Basketball Gold medal game.  If you are old, you know it, if you’re not, google it.  A scrambling, wrambling play and the Bear QB was tackled near the BR sideline.  One stripe doing the Pete Townsend arm twirl, signifying run the clock and thus ending the game.  One of the other stripes called it differently. So, with MUCH discussion, and like that ’72 Olympic game, let’s put some time on the clock (would that we could, eh?) and give it another go.  They settled on the completely arbitrary “8. Whatever” seconds. So, one sweepish play didn’t take much time off the clock, but out of bounds at the BR 28, clock stops at 3.8 (maybe) Next play a throw to the endzone, broken up nicely by the BR defenders. But on the back end of the play, flag on the ground, and miraculously the clock read 1.8 seconds,  Was that Usain Boult in the endzone?  As one of our well traveled, local favorites pointed out, that high school kid ran a 30 yard pattern in less than two seconds ? that person may have been more colorful than that.  Again, more discussion, never quite found out what the flag was about, but finally after 17 and a half hours of real time the game was allowed to end BR 24-16!  

    BR goes over the summit on Friday to play the Wellsville Lions who also won their first seasonal game.

     

    BR Stats:

    Rushing

    MacDonell = 15 rushes , 65 yards 2 TDs.

    Allen = 54 yards on 14 carries, one score.

    Passing:

    Allen:

         6 of 12 for 79 yads and one touchdown.

    Receiving:

    Pforter 1 catch for 7 yards

    Davison one catch for 5 and a score.

    Buchholz 4 catches for 57 yards.

    Defensively the stats are always a bit of guesswork.