Call it another “Jeckyll & Hyde” performance, but it accurately describes what unfolded at Ralph Clements Field on Dansville’s “Homecoming Night” Friday (Sept. 25) evening in high school football. The homestanding Mustangs literally “owned” the first half of play & built a 13 point lead. Then in the matter of about 8 minutes of play in the 3rd, the whole thing went into a “180 degree tailspin!” In that short period of time the Lions came “roaring back” to claim the lead & to hang on for an exciting 14-13 victory to spoil the Mustangs “homecoming” night at Ralph Clements Field. The game was literally the “tale of 2 halves!” How momentum can stop & shift like that is truly amazing…but it surely did on this night.
Dansville gained the first half momentum during their 2nd offensive drive of the night when they put together a 62 yard drive that would put them in front late in the first quarter. The Mustangs would pick up a couple of first downs on the ground. Then with 3:09 left in the quarter Mustang quarterback Tom Linzy went to the air where he hooked up with Tommy Graves on a 29 yard scoring strike to put Dansville on the board first & ignite the homecoming crowd! Tommy Graves booted the P.A.T. making it 7-0. When the 2 teams exchanged punts, the Mustangs would commit a serious error when Wellsville punted & the ball hit down deep in red & black terriroy……one of the Lions came down to try to “down” the ball. The pigskin took a funny bounce hitting not only the Lions player, but one of the nearby Mustangs as well. The orange & black fell on it on Dansville’s 25 yard line! Despite the miscue, the Mustangs weathered the storm & stopped Wellsville “on downs” & took over the football on their own 29. From there coach Terry Conway’s club would march the ball to the Wellsville 15 yard line where the drive would stall. One thing that Dansville has this year is an additional weapon that allows them to score even without getting into the end zone. That weapon’s name is Tommy Graves. The junnior kicker came on & connected on a 32 yard field goal putting the home team up 10-0. When Dansville stopped the Lions again on their next possession late in the 2nd quarter, Graves did it again….this time from 30 yards making it a 13-0 game at the half. The numbers at that point in time showed Dansville’s total offense a 191 yards to 1 yard for Wellsville ! Dansville had thoroughly dominated the first 2 quarters of play !
The Marching Mustangs took the field at the half celebrating “homecoming” as Arthur J. Fox was crowned king & Yvonne Ceder was named queen. Katie Jacobs had opened the night by singing the National Anthem, & now a huge fireworks display became the backdrop for the the floats, the bands, & all the additional circumstances. Somewhere in that 20 minute interval, somebody had literally “turned the switch” on the momentum in this game!
If Wellsville coach Wayne Stonemetz’s half-time speech had anything to do with it….I’d like a copy! The Lions literally came “roaring” out of the locker room & took control of the ball, the clock & eventually, the game! The orange & black came out rejuvenated & inspired as they were a “new team” in the second half ! Wellsville took the kick-off & brought it out to their own 26 yard line. From there they proceeded establish a “ground game” which was non-evident in the first half. The Lions would simply play that “straight ahead” “smash mouth” football as they would move the ball up the field while milking time off the clock. The Lions burned about 7 minutes off the timer when running back Carter Hoffman ran into the end zone from 5 yards out to cap the drive with a touchdown. Then Hoffman lined up at the quarterback spot for the 2 point conversion & took it in on a keeper making it a 13-8 game. The Lions kicked off & the Mustangs brought it out to their own 32 yard line. Dansville proceeded to fumble the football away, & low and behold, Carter Hoffman made the recovery. On the very next play Hoffman took off on a 32 yard touchdown run that put Wellsville ahead to stay 14-13. The Lions bid at a conversion was stopped as the pass play was intercepted by Dansville’s Anthony Sackett at the goal line. … Which was about the only thing that went right for Terry Conway’s team in the entire second half. Late in the 4th quarter the Mustangs had stopped Wellsville with a chance to possess the ball & possibly move it in for a game-winning score. But on the punt play on which the Mustangs were to get the ball back, saw Dansville suffer a “roughing the kicker” penalty which gave the Lions the ball back with a first down, & a chance to run the clock out. That’s exactly what they did in claiming their first win of the season.
Dansville (1-3) visits Livonia in week # 5 on Friday (Oct. 2) night. Wellsville, also (1-3) heads to the Sports Complex where they visit Wayland-Cohocton. Both games are 7:30pm starts.