• “So here I am once more,

     In the playground of the broken hearts,

    One more experience,

    one more entry in a diary of pain”

    Stolen and paraphrased from a fairly obscure 80s era band. 

    But here we are once again writing of the final game of the season for the Wolverines.  Friday in Pittsford-Sutherland, the Wolverines were hoping for the first piece of football Brick since 2007.  Instead they were humbled by the defending state champions the Pembroke Dragons, by the unsightly tally 70-30.  With the result, the Wolverine’s season is over with an impressive 6-3 record.  For many of the participants, their football careers have also closed.

    Despite the score, the boys battled throughout.  Four turnovers did not help.  Four trips into the redzone with 0 points to show for those excursions, also not conducive for winning football.  There are possibly five other things I could name that did not help the cause, but we won’t mention them.  The one man juggernaut from the Dragons proved to be everything, and much more on this night, we have witnessed from Pembroke for now the 4th time in the past 2 years.

    BR won the toss and received the opening kick, Trey Buchholz getting 36 yards on the return to the BR 41.  The rest of the opening sequence was not nearly as good.  Four short runs, and on the 4th, which might have gotten the chains moving.  But harkening back to announcer’s call from the infamous Stanford-Cal game from 1982, “The ball is on the field, the ball is on the field.”  BR turning the ball over to the Dragons, Pembroke taking over on their own 46. 

    It took just four plays for Pembroke to put their first score on the board.  Their kicker split the uprights for the 7-0 lead.

    On the kickoff, possibly trying to avoid a repeat big return by Buchholz, Pembroke tried to finesse a kick away from Trey, but it rolled out of bounds for the flag. BR starting on their own 35.

    A six yard blast by Tavyn MacDonell, a yard then 8 from Buchholz to get the first down. Caden Allen went for 8 more then a big run of 20.  Kingston Loucks had a short run, then back to Allen for 3 then 6 more to the Dragon 12.  MacDonell did the rest for the 12 yard score.  Allen to Loucks through the air for the 2 pointer and BR had the early lead.

    Charlie Militello hit a beauty of an onside kick, catching Pembroke a little flat footed.  Zach Mitchell came out of the scrum with the ball giving BR great field position at the Pembroke 40. Trey had a short run, Tavyn for 5.  Allen called his own number going for 6 and a first, then another 2.  MacDonell got 5 and then the rest, scoring from 21 out. He then collected the 2 point attempt and BR extended the lead to 16-7.

    Another short, nubber, kick off was fielded by the Dragons at their own 39.  In retrospect, possibly not the right time to try that?  Starting from their own 39, a series of short ish runs with one 14 yarder in the mix, ran out the clock in the first quarter.

    After the change of ends, three runs and TD Dragons.  The PAT kick was good, still 16-14 edge for the good guys.

    Another short kick from Pembroke and a heads up play by Levi Williams for BR to fall on the ball at the Wolverine 45.   BR looking to extend. 11 from Tavyn, then another short one from MacDonell.  Trey for six.  Caden for 3 then 1 and another first down. Three more first downs through the next 4 plays put BR at 1st and 10 at the 12.  Tavyn for 2, Caden for 3 as well.  Two incompletions and the turnover on downs and Pembroke was looking at a long field. 

    No worries for them, apparently.  One play and yeesh, 93 yards later, TD Dragons. No extra point try this time, as the ball was swatted down by Trevor Pforter but the potential 10 point lead had turned into a 4 point hole just like that.

    BR had another “fall on the kickoff” kind of play, starting on their own 42, Tavyn then Trey twice on short runs.  The 4th down play was a turnover to Pembroke with a return to the BR 22. Five plays this time and paydirt, with the kick, now 27-16.  

    A questioned bouncer of a kickoff went to the Dragons with the recovery at their own 42.  Four of the next six runs went to the Pembroke BMOC.  Bu the final one was by their second fiddle if you will, and with the kick 34-16 Dragons.  And Vince Lombardi called from his grave, “What the hell is going on out there?”

    Another tricky hop kickoff was fielded by Loucks at the BR 30.  He ALMOST made it the rest of the way, being caught from behind at the Dragon 10. The running game was moving with a certain amount of ease, just five minutes ago.  Now, it became bogged down and BR was unable to manage to squeeze it in, turning the ball over at the 1, to end the half.

    Coming out of intermission, Militello kicked off and the Dragons took over at their own 21.  A few short plays later and they fumbled it back to BR Zach Mitchell on the recovery at the Dragon 18. A couple of short runs and a pass that the officials threw a flag (REALLY?!) for DPI face guarding. BR moved to the Pembroke 7.

    A short run by Allen before MacDonell pushed it over for the score.  Allen to Buchholz for the 2 point try and still down 34-24 but BR was hoping to climb back in.

    That hope was very short lived.

    On the kickoff, the returner somehow escaped traffic, with a few Wolverines no finishing up and he went 80 yards for the score(NUTS!) add a 2 point try and palindromically, 42-24.

    Another turnover on downs but in their own end and one could clearly sense the wheels were about to  fly right off the axle. A small handful of plays and touchdown, a BR penalty aided PAT good for 2 and 50- 24, yuck!

    Kickoff, once again the fall on type by the team, BR ball at their 33.  And on the first play, BR fumble. Short run, long run, touchdown Pembroke. Add the kick, Heinz 57 -24.

    Another out of bounds kickoff, and BR has their starting position at their own 45. Trey, Tavyn, Caden, Tavyn Caden Tavyn, all short like runs good for BR first down to the 33.  A 10 yard boost by Buchholz then Allen to Loucks down the middle for the score.  The 2 pointer failed 57-30, unfortunately  BR would not be finding the endzone again on this night.

    A series of runs put the ball back in the endzone, kick good, 63-30.

    Yet another short kickoff by Pembroke, scooped by Militello and returned 45 yards to eh Dragon 20. Allen on the big run for 12, BR was knocking on the door again.  Next play, well read defensively and picked off with return to the15. 

    One play, one run, one score.  Kick good, 70-30.

    Big return by Buchholz, almost breaking it after a 46 yard return. To the Pembroke 41.  From there Coach Smith cleared the bench BR at the Pembroke 42.  Nothing doing and BR had to punt the ball back, with the ball rolling dead at the 10.  That might have been the final highlight for either team as the clock mercifully came to a stop.

     

    As it was the Championship game in the 8 Man classification, several awards were handed out to participants of the contest.   BR collected Best Defensive Player Caden Allen. While the Offensive Player was Tavyn MacDonell.  Congratulations.   

    Their success is a result not only of the team’s skill and determination but also as the product of many hours by the coaches.  As a fan of the program, maybe speaking for all the other fans, I would like to thank not only the players but also the men who put in a large number of hours helping to guide the team.  So, thank you Coaches Smith, Allen, Bess, Kinnicutt, and Smith.  You and the boys have made this an enjoyable and successful season.

    To the seniors who will be crossing the stage in 8 short months, best wishes in your future endeavors whether those endeavors are in college, the work place, the military, LIFE.   Thank you and good luck to Caden, Trey, Zach, Roman, C-Gar, Brian, Trevor, Aiden, Levi, and Anthony.

     

    It’s about 2 in the am as this is wrapping up, so don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour as Daylight Savings comes to an end for another year.  

    And with Veteran’s Day coming in a week, thank you to all who have served and defended this country as well as all those currently in harm’s way protecting us. Thank you.