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Tip Drill Is Difference

MATT SPIELMAN - Sports Writer, Jamestown Post Journal

mspielman@post-journal.com


Hedlund TD Grab Lifts Warriors Past F/CV/MG


FALCONER — Hayden Hoag says the Salamanca Warriors have a joke: throw the ball up to his brother, Harley Hoag, and he’ll catch it.


After Tuesday night, the Hoags might have to amend the punchline.


Somebody will catch it.


Salamanca’s Cole Hedlund, left, is about to catch a tipped ball in the end zone for a touchdown during Tuesday’s Class C South football game against Falconer/Cassadaga Valley/Maple Grove at Bill Race Field.

(P-J photo by Jason Bower)


Hayden’s third-and-11 throw into the end zone went off Harley’s fingertips and into the waiting hands of teammate Cole Hedlund for a 31-yard touchdown with 4:44 remaining, sending Salamanca to a 16-13 Class C South victory over Falconer/Cassadaga Valley/Maple Grove at Bill Race Field.


“(Harley) beat his man deep. It was a scramble drill,” Hayden Hoag said postgame. “He tipped it and Cole always hustles. It was incredible how he caught that.”


Salamanca’s Cole Hedlund, left, is about to catch a tipped ball in the end zone for a touchdown during Tuesday’s Class C South football game against Falconer/Cassadaga Valley/Maple Grove at Bill Race Field. P-J photo by Jason Bower


The Warriors improved to 5-1 overall with the win and, more importantly, 3-1 in the league with games at Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton and Gowanda/Pine Valley remaining.


“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Hayden Hoag said.


The Golden Cougars, meanwhile, fell to 3-2 overall and suffered their first league loss in three tries. They finish up with road games against Fredonia and Southwestern.


“They proved they can play with the top teams in the league,” F/CV/MG head coach Dan Greco said of his players. “Salamanca is a top team. If we just make a play when it’s there, we’d be sitting in a different spot right now.”


Things weren’t pretty early Tuesday as F/CV/MG led 6-3 at halftime on Dalton Caldwell’s 2-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds left in the second quarter. That score was set up by the Golden Cougars’ longest play of the night, a 38-yard connection from Jackson Gowan to Matt Welsh.


Falconer/Cassadaga Valley/Maple Grove running back Noah Abram runs in the open field during Tuesday's game against Salamanca. P-J photo by Jason Bower


The hosts’ lead grew to 13-3 midway through the third quarter. Gowan ran for 34 yards on first-and-10 from the 39-yard line and a penalty moved the ball to the 14-yard line. After Caldwell ran for 7 yards, Gowan scored on a 7-yard run of his own.