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Fredonia falls to C/S/P in football finale

SHERMAN — Clymer/Sherman/Panama had a somewhat convoluted path to Class C’s No. 1 seed heading into Saturday afternoon’s game.

Beat Fredonia.

Win by at least 20 points.

And hold the Hillbillies to fewer than six points.

Check.

Check.

And check.

John Swabik scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and the Wolfpack stifled the Nick Whitfield-led Fredonia attack all afternoon en route to a 26-0 Class C South title-clinching victory at Harry S. Brosius Field.

C/S/P’s reward for such dominance? A Section VI semifinal date with undefeated Southwestern next Saturday afternoon in Clymer.

Swabik, filling in as the Wolfpack’s primary running back with Connor Cooper injured, made the most of his opportunity running 24 times for a career-high 219 yards.

C/S/P’s defense actually scored the first points of the game after the Wolfpack offense came up just short of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line. On Fredonia’s first play from scrimmage, fullback Matt Lotter was stopped by Keith Gormley and Zach Chase before he got out of the end zone resulting in a safety for the Wolfpack.

After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, C/S/P took over at the Hillbillies’ 45-yard line and wasted little time adding to its lead. Swabik completed a pass to Jordan Svetz for 11 yards before Bishop Kopta found a wide-open Matthew White for a 32-yard touchdown to make it 8-0 after the first of four unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempts by the Wolfpack.

C/S/P added on with 8:03 left in the second quarter as Swabik went through the middle of the Fredonia defense nearly untouched and then broke a run to the outside where he received a block from Gormley to spring him 27 yards for a touchdown.

Less than two minutes later, the Wolfpack opened up their key 20-point margin when Swabik took a sweep to the left side of his offensive line then raced all the way back across the width of the field and dived into the end zone for a 54-yard score with 6:15 left in the first half.

The score remained 20-0 at halftime with the Hillbillies’ deepest march into C/S/P territory going to the Wolfpack’s 20-yard line with 2:26 left in the second quarter. From there, Lotter was stopped for no gain and Whitfield threw three incompletions to turn the ball over on downs.

Fredonia had a chance to get back into the game early in the third quarter, but back-to-back drives ended on Whitfield interceptions, the first by Swabik at the 23-yard line and the second by White, which the senior returned 36 yards to the Fredonia 24-yard line.

Four plays after White’s interception, on first-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Kopta ran in the Wolfpack’s final touchdown of the game.

Whitfield, who has received looks from NCAA Division I programs, went 9 for 26 for 24 yards. The Hillbillies’ longest play from scrimmage on the afternoon was a 38-yard run by Whitfield during the first series of the second half. That drive ended on a fourth-down incompletion from the C/S/P 22-yard line.

Running behind an offensive line that dwarfed the Wolfpack, Lotter picked up just 41 yards on 11 carries.

With just the top four Class C teams qualifying for the playoffs, the Hillbillies (3-2, 3-2) will begin prepping for the fall 2021 season with many key contributors — including Whitfield — returning.

The Wolfpack, on the other hand, have a week to get ready for the Trojans (4-0, 4-0), who have outscored opponents 178-31 this spring.

NOTES: C/S/P and Southwestern were scheduled to play April 16 at Charles A. Lawson Field in West Ellicott, but that game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Trojans program. … Medina (4-0, 4-0, plus-80, 13 points allowed) earned the No. 2 seed and will host Eden North Collins (4-1, 4-1) in a Friday Class C semifinal.

FREDONIA 0 0 0 0 — 0

CLYMER/SHERMAN/PANAMA 8 12 6 0 — 26

C/S/P–Safety (Lotter tackled in end zone)

C/S/P–White 32 pass from Kopta (pass failed)

C/S/P–Swabik 27 run (run failed)

C/S/P–Swabik 54 run (run failed)

C/S/P–Kopta 4 run (run failed)

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