Fredonia’s Whitfield throws for 369 yards, four TDs
On Senior Night, the Fredonia Hillbillies offense came up big en route to a 35-12 Class C South victory over the Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton Thunderbirds on Saturday night at Dunkirk’s Karl Hoeppner Field.
The offense started off slow even with excellent field position on its opening drive thanks to Fredonia senior linebacker Joe Gullo blocking a punt to give the Hillbillies the ball at the Thunderbirds 30-yard line.
Fredonia quickly turned the ball over on downs, but its second possession was much better. On the first play of the drive, quarterback Nick Whitfield hit Simon Davis for a 79-yard touchdown pass. Davis caught the Whitfield pass about 30 yards down field and then turned on his afterburners to outrun the Thunderbirds secondary into the end zone. Carson Cain converted the extra point to make it 7-0.
That was just the start of a monstrous day for Whitfield, who finished 18 of 35 for 369 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
After beating Cassadaga Valley/Falconer 12-10 in Week 2, Fredonia’s coaching staff did not go into Saturday’s game expecting to throw 38 times, but as Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton stacked the line of scrimmage, the Hillbillies kept going to the air.
In fact, Fredonia finished the game with only 20 yards rushing.
After Davis’ touchdown, the Hillbillies added on the next three scores.
First was a short run on a quarterback draw by Whitfield that made it 14-0 with Michael Berg kicking the extra point.
The final score of the first half was set up by a defensive stand, which forced the Thunderbirds to punt from their own end zone. The Hillbillies took over at the Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton 32-yard line, and after a pair of penalties against Fredonia, Whitfield found senior Jake Helmer along the sidelines for a 44-yard touchdown. Again Berg converted the PAT to make it 21-0 at halftime.
To start the second half, the Hillbillies scored their fourth consecutive touchdown — despite Dom Gullo having an apparent touchdown called back due to a block in the back. On the next play, Whitfield connected with Gullo for a 40-yard score after the senior broke a pair of tackles following the catch. Once again Berg tacked on the PAT to make it 28-0.
But the Thunderbirds didn’t give up, scoring the next two touchdowns to make the game interesting.
First, senior Nate Engdahl scored on a 7-yard run — part of a 33-carry night totaling 104 yards.
Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton then forced Fredonia into a punt and a bad snap gave the Thunderbirds the ball on the Hillbillies’ 2-yard line.
Fredonia’s defense stopped the Thunderbirds for three downs, but on fourth down quarterback Luke Waters found Gavin Sauerland open for a 2-yard touchdown.
Sauerland finished with five catches for 87 yards.
Despite a lack of momentum, Whitfield and his offense changed the Hillbillies’ fortunes. First the junior converted a third-down pass to Dom Gullo to cross midfield and then he hit senior Tyler Putney for a 29-yard touchdown. Berg’s PAT made it 35-12.
Fredonia will host Allegany-Limestone on Friday night in Dunkirk while Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton will travel to Southwestern that same night.
NOTES: Dom Gullo had five catches for 87 yards. Putney had five catches for 78 yards. … Mike Holt had 13 tackles, Joe Gullo and Jacob Thompson each had 12 and Troy Lemiszko had 11.