By JEREMY IZZIO
OBSERVER Sports Reporter
SILVER CREEK - On the very first play of the game, Falconer's Cody Dustin ran off-tackle, beat the linebackers to the sideline and turned it upfield for a 80-yard touchdown run. It was a sign of things to come as the Golden Falcons (2-2) ran past the Silver Creek-Forestville Black Knights (1-3), 28-14, Saturday afternoon in a Class C South matchup.
OBSERVER?Photo by Justin Goetz
Silver Creek’s Craig Gilbert (21) and Mike Priest (58) combine to tackle Falconer’s Jacob Penhollow (52) after Penhollow’s interception during their Class C South matchup Saturday at Silver Creek.
Dustin scored on runs of 80 yards, 80 yards, 40 yards and 35 yards. In total, Dustin ran for 379 yards on 33 carries. As a team, Falconer out-rushed Silver Creek-Forestville 486-120.
"Our guys came out hungrier than I've ever seen them," Falconer head coach Dan Krenzer said. "We're getting better every single week. Sometimes it's hard to get a bead on these guys, but man, they really went for it (Saturday). Silver Creek is a very good team and I'm very happy to come out ahead."
Falconer maintained a 7-0 lead throughout the first half until Silver-Creek-Forestville's Jake Nosbisch found wide receiver Kraig Gilbert streaking down the field for a 65-yard pass and catch for the game-tying touchdown with 2:38 left in the half. The Black Knights had the momentum on their side going into halftime, but it didn't take long for the Golden Falcon's to reverse the tide.
The Black Knights opened the second half with a 12-play drive that included 10 runs of six yards or less and three offsides penalties on Falconer's defense.
Silver Creek-Forestville marched the ball down to Falconer's 5-yard line before facing fourth and goal. Out came the field goal unit - who promptly missed the short attempt - giving Falconer both the ball at the 20 and the second-half momentum back on its side.
On the very next play, Dustin took the handoff around the edge and once again ran 80 yards for a touchdown. After a missed extra point, the score stood at 13-7 in favor of Falconer. But Dustin was not done.
On its second drive of the second half, Silver Creek-Forestville once again took the ball down to Falconer's 5-yard line on 12 plays and again failed to score before turning the ball over on downs.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Golden Falcons capitalized two drives later as Dustin ran 40 yards for his third score of the game. Three minutes later Dustin all but put the game away with his fourth touchdown run.
The Black Knights were able to score with 40 seconds left bringing the game to within two scores, but by then it was too late. Nosbisch threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Bryce Plecker in the back corner of the endzone from 15 yards out. Nate Serio's extra point made the score 28-14.
Nosbisch finished 10 of 36 for 222 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Jacob Lewis led the Black Knights with four receptions for 100 yards.
Black Knight running back Sherman Williams ran 22 times for 110 yards in the loss.
"It was kind of heartbreaking," Silver Creek-Forestville coach Sean Helmer said. "We missed some major assignments defensively. We struggled to line up first of all, and then once we settled down, we got a couple of big drives and just sputtered. I think we were inside the five twice and couldn't score. It was just unacceptable. That's being out-willed and that's on us."
Dustin was the benefactor of big holes created by his offensive line throughout the game, which led to his impressive day on the ground.
"(Dustin) did a great job, but the whole team has really been working for him these past couple of weeks," Krenzer said. "Da Shawn (Jackson) came in and spelled him in the end and did some nice running. Jake Youngberg did some nice running. As a team we're really just starting to hit and come together. I just hope it keeps going and gets better."
The Golden Falcons' offensive line was able to take advantage of the Black Knights' depleted defensive line. Inexperience up front, combined with a poor tackling performances by the secondary, led to a monster day on the ground and ultimately a victory for their opponent.
"We had a lot of new guys in different spots for various reasons," Helmer said. "The group that's out there is pretty young, but that's no excuse. We didn't really execute and when you're playing so many defensive snaps, you just get gassed after awhile."
Things won't get any easier for Silver Creek-Forestville next week as they hit the road to take on Randolph, the number one ranked Class D team in the state.
Falconer will host Gowanda in what will be the Golden Falcons' 2013 homecoming game.