Alumni: Warrior Grads Soundly Defeat Portville, 28-6
The Warriors really seem to have a knack for winning alumni charity football games.
Having beaten Bradford, Pa.'s, graduates two years in a row, the Warrior alums took on Portville Saturday at Vets Park. Salamanca controlled the game for the most part and came away with a 28-6 victory.
Both teams were winners in this charity contest. Warrior player and alumni committee member D.J. Whitmore said $3,400 of the proceeds went to Portville and $3,400 to Salamanca. The game was dedicated in memory of two Warrior football greats who died in the past year, Kyle Scott and Pat Shinners.
Scott, who wore uniform No. 82, scored his last touchdown during the 1999 Class C state title game. He would have played his first alumni game this weekend. Shinners, No. 70, played for George Whitcher at Salamanca and went on to become a high school referee. He was asked to help with the first alumni game five years ago and remained involved as a head referee who also organized the other officials. Introduced as honorary captains in a pregame ceremony were Kyle Scott's parents, Debbie and Tom Scott; Pat Shinners' wife Cathy; his brother, Dave; and members of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department.
The game began with Salamanca receiving the kickoff, but it was Portville who first got on the board. The Panthers ran for less than 100 yards and completed four passes for 62 yards on the night, but took advantage of an interception to go 34 yards in two plays. 2003 graduate Adam Hellwig, one of Portville's main weapons, took a handoff and dashed 29 yards for the score. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
"We had to get used to Hellwig," said Warrior coach and 1983 graduate Chris Krantz. "We didn't take good pursuit angles."
Portville's defense held its ground, forcing three Salamanca punts in the first quarter. Barely three minutes into the second, quarterback Dan Earley hit Jason Wass with a 30-yard touchdown pass. Ned Watson's extra point made it 7-6.
Salamanca was led by runners such as Darren Ross, Pat Galante, Chris Drugg and Earley. The Warriors got their last three touchdowns on the ground, starting in the third quarter. Starting at the Portville 20 thanks to a fumble recovery by Derrick Murphy, the Warriors took four plays to reach the end zone. Galante's 12-yard touchdown run gave the home team a 13-6 lead.
At halftime a spirit contest, open to any Salamanca High School sports team, was held. The Lady Warrior swimmers won the contest and earned a $300 first prize. The varsity football team was second and won $200, and the varsity football cheerleaders won $100 for finishing third.
Krantz and Chuck Doner each intercepted a pass in the third quarter. Doner returned the ball to the Portville 18, setting up Earley's 2-yard touchdown run with 11:43 left.
Portville started the game with T.J. Latten at quarterback. Boomer Lickfield, who handled the punting duties, came in to call the signals in the fourth quarter.
"We blitzed a lot early and we got enough pursuit from Sky (Brown) and D.J. (Whitmore) on the ends," Krantz said. "That passing game, with all those wideouts, you make one bad read and itÞs six points."
Whitmore said, "I think we had a couple of sacks apiece and we pressured him (Latten) into dumping it out of bounds and throwing some ill-advised passes."
After Earley's touchdown, he found tight end Jason Marsh in the corner of the end zone for a two-point conversion, making the score 21-6.
"Was that perfect or what?" Whitmore asked, rhetorically. "It was a play we designed just for a two-point conversion play. Jason had to dive to get the ball."
Drugg's 1-yard run gave Salamanca its last touchdown and the 28-6 win. The Warriors finished with 235 to 240 yards on the ground. Earley threw for about 60 yards.
2004 Alumni Game - Salamanca vs. Portville Part 1
Full game can be found here, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5tTcNP-5XWv7BNPO8uLikEJYfVQHeFAQ.