Tonawanda News — FREDONIA - It didn’t take Fredonia, the most lethal offensive team in Class C this season, very long Friday night to get in the end zone against Tonawanda.
And once the Hillbillies scored they kept scoring, putting the game out of reach by halftime en route to a 43-7 playoff victory.
After getting out to a 13-0 lead after their first two possesions, Fredonia continued to find running room on a rain-soaked, muddy field.
The Hillbillies led 40-0 at halftime. That’s when Tonawanda coach Rob Gross reminded his seniors that their time was running out.
“I knew we wouldn’t fold and I knew we would respond. You could tell that by the box score in the second half when we outscored them 7-3,” Gross said. “Fredonia is a very good team who’s been beating teams by 46 points a game. We made too many mistakes and let them get a big lead.”
Gross told his players at halftime to make the most of the second half because they would never be able to do it over.
The Warriors responded right away, recovering a Fredonia fumble and driving on the next possesion for their first touchdown of the game.
Tonawanda QB Tristan Boling starred on the drive, ripping off a big run after the turnover to set up a touchdown pass on 4th and 4 to senior Connor Pumm.
Gross said his team, only dressing 17 varsity players against the Hillbillies, is full of competitors.
“We have guys that compete and Tristan is a competitor,” Gross said about Boling, who finished with nearly 100 yards combined through the air and on the ground. “We knew he needed to make a big play for us there on the touchdown and he did just that. He always comes up big for us.”
Warriors RB Tim Barnard got going a bit in the second half and finished with 65 yards rushing. Connor Pumm had two catches for 19 yards and the touchdown. Brandon Frye led the team in tackles with 5 for the Warriors, and Corey Adams recorded a sack and had two tackles for a loss.
Gross expressed his pride in his team after the game, the first Warriors team to make the playoffs in nine seasons.
“Our guys played hard tonight. They were exhausted and they played their butts off,” Gross said. “I’m really proud of the way they handled adversity.”