WNYAthletics.com: Section VI Playoff Football - Class D Preview

(1) Franklinville/Ellicottville Titans VS (8) Portville Panthers - Friday 10/20/17 7pm @ Ellicottville

The Titans have outscored their opponents 297-70 during the regular season. They are led by senior QB Brock Blecha who is having another outstanding season. F/E went undefeated through the regular season knocking off Maple Grove, CSP and Chautauqua Lake the second, third and fourth seeds respectively in Class D by a combined score of 100-18.

F/E has been getting it done on both sides of the football which presents big problems for the Panthers. “We probably won’t stop them entirely (no one has), so we will have to make them earn every play,” Portville head coach Gary Swetland said.

Portville lost all but one game during the regular season defeating Nichols in a nonleague contest 56-28 in Week 6. They were blanked by Maple Grove in Week 7, 47-0. The Panthers defense will be tested early and often Friday night and will need to rely on a young squad to slow Blecha and the Titans down.

Besides Blecha, F/E has a host of weapons that have worn down opponents all season. Griffin Chudy is a senior running back and three-year starter is having a good season along with Austin Grinols (RB), Sam Erickson (TE) and Walter Woodarek (OL) who is one of the best lineman in WNY.

The Panthers have a good mix of players in Brendan and Dalton Tobola, Kyle Murray the team’s QB, Noah Pullins, Brandon Murray and Roland Thompson.

The loyal observers will tell you the Titans will roll, but there is a reason why they play these games. If F/E is looking past the Panthers, it would be a big mistake.

(2) Maple Grove Red Dragons VS (7) Randolph/Frewsburg Cardinals - Friday 10/20/17 7pm @ Maple Grove

The Red Dragons are a younger version of the team that went all the way to State’s last season but still very productive. Other than a Week 3 loss to Franklinville/Ellicottville it has been business as usual for Maple Grove. The team finished 5-1 in league play which included impressive wins over CSP, Chautaugua Lake and an improving Randolph/Frewsburg squad. Led by senior captain and star running back Nick Fabrizio, the Red Dragons amassed 228 points. The defense allowed 60 points which was the lowest in Class D.

Maple Grove scored a 39-6 victory over Randolph/Frewsburg in Week 6 at home, which is where the same two teams will play Friday night. Despite the loss, Randolph/Frewsburg had a decent first season as a team finishing 3-4 overall. They won three of their last four games, including a week 4 win over Class C’s Allegany-Limestone. No doubt the merger took its toll on the players early on but they appear to be playing at a level fit for playoff competition. Rocco Oliverio and Jake Brown will be asked to carry the load for the Cardinals.