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F/E shows Class D schools can play with rout of JFK

After dominating three Class D schools in the Southern tier, the Franklinville-Ellicottville football team had an opportunity to make a road trip to the north and try its luck against a larger school.

And man, did the Titans ever impress. F/E dominated right from the start and rolled to a 52-14 win over Class C school John F. Kennedy on Saturday afternoon.

“It was a great win,” F/E quarterback Brock Blecha said. “A little D school coming up to a city C school. People think a D coming to play a C that the C is going to stomp all over us. But D’s come to play and it doesn’t matter what size, we can still handle it.”

JFK was flying at 3-1 and tied for the lead in the Class C North. But not for a minute did the Bears think they were in for a cupcake opponent on Saturday.

“That’s a really good football team,” JFK coach Jeff Sabatino said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see them playing for a state championship at the D level. Forget D or whatever class, they’re a very good football team. Respect to them. Their showcase in Erie County happened to be our field.”

It took less than two minutes for the Titans to show they came to play. After a three-and-out for the Bears, Blecha raced 50 yards on a keeper for a touchdown just 1:46 into the contest.

“The kids answered the call for sure,” Titans coach Chad Bartoszek said. “Right off the bat it was nice to see them get after it on the first (offensive) play of the game. We really came out physical. It was a tough game, JFK can hit.”

The Bears did hit hard but the Titans – behind a standout offensive line – proved to be too much.

Blacha ran for 130 yards and three scores and threw for 189 yards and a 57-yard touchdown to Austin Grinols. Griffin Chudy added 102 yards and two more touchdowns. Jacob Peters added a late TD run for F/E (5-0 overall, 3-0 Class D).

“Our offensive line was great today,” Chudy said. “They owned the play up front. We were able to run the ball, pass the ball well … it was overall a great team win.”

F/E will return to action on Friday against Chautauqua Lake before closing regular season play against Clymer/Sherman/Panama.

“Of course we’re happy with the way things have gone so far,” Bartoszek said. “But every game we have to stay healthy, we have tough games ahead of us. This was a nice test for us against a C school.

Meanwhile, JFK will go back to work in search of a Class C North title. The Bears are at Wilson on Friday before closing the regular season with the annual showdown against Cleveland Hill.

“The bigger picture is we have a big game on Friday night and that’s what we’re focused on,” Sabatino said. “They made us better today. I thought our kids fought today and there’s nothing more you can ask out of your kids than to fight.”

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