by Big Jim Hawbaker
(Portville, NY) Spring turkey season is said and gone, and all is good here at the Hawbaker Backwoods Huntin Lodge.
With time on our hands, Ma Hawbaker and me were able to get to the big alumni football game in Portville versus Allegany-Limestone.
Mother and me were not able to see much of the game, seeing we were tending to alot of the youngsters running round (many
of the males playing football in the mud)...but we were able to accomplish raising funds for those kids, get to the party
afterwards, see alot of old friends, and...we got hold of the game tape thanks to the Channel 2 gang from Buffalo.
Thus, I was able to go through the whole game and analyze many details...do de da. And here's the story...
The Portville Panther Alumni football team beat the visiting Allegany-Limestone Gators 28 to 6 in a full-pads, charity
game that drew a crowd of 1,800 fans or so. Led by QBs Brian Nitsche and Chet Holcomb, Portville defeated its long-time
gridiron rival with a balanced attack of offense-defense and rushing-passing.
Old-timers Ryan Hunt, Mike Torrey, and Moke Jaekle governed a stout Panther defense that only allowed 148 total yards over
60 minutes of brutal battle. A-L, in its debut year of alumni football, was impressive...45 dudes dressed for the game,
and 30 different Gators registered tackles.
On the offensive side, Portville accumulated 454 passing and rushing yards, initiating the scoring two plays into the second
quarter...Chet Holcomb threw a 20-yard TD to his cousin Brad Holcomb. Five plays later, after a fumble recovery by Portville
on the kick-off, Nitsche hit Kyle Witherell with another TD pass, 25 yards. Steve Blaske dove for the two points, and
Portville was up 14-0.
By that time, the Panthers had already totalled 30 yards in penalties, a trend that continued throughout the contest.
In the middle of the 2nd quarter, the Gators mounted a 14 play - 65 yard drive that ended in a fumble recovery by Portville's
Jeff Borer. A-L QB Tom Pastore pushed them to the opponent's 14, but PCS responded with its own futile, 10-play drive.
Three plays into the second half, Nitsche turned a broken play into a 67-yard jettison to the endzone, and with Kris Young
hitting the XP, Portville up 21-0. Robert Truman and Chris Napolean from A-L turned up the defense the rest of the game
Near the end of the third, the green team recovered a maroon fumble on the 20...four plays later, QB Nick Aeillo hit Andy
Porcello on a pass for six points. Early in the fourth, Portville answered with a 7-play drive and TD pass from
Chet to Scott Forrest.
Nitsche finished with 73 yards passing and 131 yards rushing, 2 TDs, while John DeBarbieri had 87 rushing. Blaske
had 62 rushing in addition to a good defensive effort. Chet Holcomb was 5 for 8 in passing, threw 2 TDs, and had no
RB stats for the Gators included Troy Nolan's 30 yards and Jeff Miles's 26.
Jack Williams had a fumble recovery, as did Borer, Hunt, and Torrey (who also had a knock-down close to the end-zone).