Fredonia wins first game of season, 20-7 over Newfane

OBSERVER File Photo Fredonia/Brocton’s Joell Colon (23) rushes for a gain against Newfane during the season opener in Brocton in Week 1.

BROCTON — The Fredonia/Brocton Hillbillies defeated the Newfane Panthers by a score of 20-7 in a Class B3 high school football game in Brocton on Friday night.

With four seconds left in the first half, Fredonia/Brocton senior quarterback Trey Swartz heaved up a pass to the endzone with his team trailing 7-0 to the Newfane Panthers.

“I just had a gut feeling that somebody was going to come down with it,” said Swartz. “I just threw it in the endzone and let somebody go get it.”

That somebody was Joelle Colon, who leaped over a defender to haul in the last-second touchdown to tie the game 7-7 heading into halftime. That catch was only the start of the game for Colon, who also dashed into the endzone two other times in the second half to help give the Hillbillies their first win of the season.

“We always say every year ‘it’s a new era,'” said Colon after the game. “Last year doesn’t matter, you know this is our year. But the team played well tonight and the line played well tonight, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

OBSERVER Photo by Justin Goetz Fredonia/Brocton tight end Jake Skinner (89) runs past a Newfane defender after a reception Friday night in Brocton.

Colon finished the night with 26 carries for 131 yard and two touchdowns, and also added the 29 yard touchdown catch to end the first half.

While Colon sustained success on the offensive side of the ball, the Hillbillie defense shutdown the Panther offense in the second half. The defense got key interceptions from both Lucas Green and Dalton Gardner to help stop the Newfane offense. Overall, the defense collected three turnovers in the second half alone, and stopped the Panther option attack.

“We weren’t tackling well to start the game — we weren’t getting to the ball,” said Fredonia/Brocton head coach Greg Sherlock. “I thought the adjustments we made at halftime made a difference — the kids listened — and they did their jobs, that’s the biggest part.”

Despite Newfane’s running back Jaden Heers breaking a couple of runs throughout the game, the Fredonia/Brocton defense stood out, and helped them grab the win.

“Our defense was huge,” said Sherlock. “Everybody has a job to do — you saw in the first half if everybody doesn’t do their job it’s not pretty. We were able to make adjustments.”

For the complete story and more coverage on Friday’s game, check out the Sunday OBSERVER.