SENECA — The Seneca-Wauzeka-Steuben football team wasted no time taking the lead against the visiting Port Edwards Blackhawks last Friday night.
On the second play from scrimmage of their first possession, the Blue-Golds’ freshman quarterback Jared Payne took off a 45-yard touchdown run. SWS led Port Edwards 6-0.
Trouble was Port had come to play. The Blackhawks responded with a sustained drive on their first possession. With fourth-and-goal-to-go, the Port drive looked stalled. Blackhawk quarterback Ian Gibbs scrambled to his right and looked like he was about to get sacked when he spotted senior wide receiver Tyler Kohlbeck standing alone wide open in the middle of the end zone. Gibbs threw a tough pass on the move across his body and Kohlbeck caught it. It made the score 6-6.
Port Edwards wide receiver/running back Ethan Saylor then took charge. Saylor scored three more touchdowns for the Black hawks in the first half. Saylor ran for three-yard touchdown. Then caught 74-yard touchdown pass from Gibbs and a 45-yard touchdown pass from the Blackhawk’s Cordell Gruber. The score was 26-6.
The Blue-Golds responded with a touchdown of their won making the score Port Edwards 26 Seneca-Wauzeka-Steuben 12 at halftime. That was about the game.
Port Edwards added one more touchdown in the fourth quarter on seven-yard run by Gruber. They also were successful on the two-point conversion to make the final score 34-12.
Despite the score, the game never looked that lopsided. SWS scored first, the blue-Golds had 11 first downs and Blackhawks had 13. SWS ran 36 times for a total of 177 yards, while the Blackhawks ran 43 times for total of 172 yards.
The big difference was passing. SWS completed three of seven passes for 26 yards and allowed one interception. However, Port Edwards completed six of 14 passes for whopping 165 yards. They also gave up one interception. Of course, 119 of those 165 yards came on two big touchdown passes to Saylor.
The Blackhawks turned ball over once on a fumble and the Blue-Golds turned over two fumbles.
Port Edwards was penalized nine times for a total of 60 yards and SWS was penalized nine times for a total of 76 yards.
Later, SWS head coach Justin Goodrich put things in perspective.
“Ethan Saylor had a big game against us,” Goodrich said later. “We had a few penalties on crucial plays where we needed a first down. The team played with good effort and intensity, but we were not able to overcome the numerous turnovers and penalties.”