With a four-game losing streak in its rear-view mirror, the Honeoye Falls-Lima Varsity Football team focused on the task at hand and now finds itself in the Section V semifinals.
HF-L, seeded sixth, defeated #3 Geneva 27-13 in the Section V Class B quarterfinal on October 21. The Cougars welcomed back senior running back Jack Tvrdik from an injury that has kept him out of the lineup the past four games. Tvrdik made his presence felt right away. After forcing a punt, the Cougar offense took over at its own 49-yard-line. That drive culminated in Tvrdik barreling down the right side for an 11-yard touchdown run which gave the Cougars a 6-0 lead with 8:08 left in the first quarter as the point-after kick failed. Among the highlights in the march were three long runs. Tvrdik had a 22-yard run and an 8-yard run, both down the right side. Thomas Romig scampered nine yards on the left side. Geneva scored in the first quarter, blocking a punt, and then scoring on a 16-yard TD run with 2:08 remaining as its point-after kick also failed. Both clubs had good drives in the second period, but neither scored so the squads went into halftime locked in a 6-6 tie.
The Cougars went ahead 13-6 in the third quarter when Derek Childs snared a 32-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Carey to finish off a nine-play drive with 7:41 left in the third period as the team also connected on the point-after kick. The drive started with the Cougars receiving the kickoff to start the second half, beginning at its own 28. Among big plays in the drive was a 17-yard catch by Childs and a 31-yard reception by Tvrdik. Tyler Selke intercepted the ball to end one Geneva threat, but the Cougars gave the ball right back as Geneva intercepted a pass. Geneva then turned that into a 60-yard touchdown pass and a point-after kick to tie the game at 13 with 2:47 left in the third quarter. Romig intercepted another pass at the end of the third quarter and the Cougars turned that into the eventual game-winning touchdown. Carey connected with Selke for a 19-yard pickup and Childs caught an eight-yard pass as the Cougars marched down the field in 10 plays. Carey followed the middle of the offensive line into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown run. The point-after kick was no good, leaving the Cougars ahead 19-13 with 8:51 left in the game. HF-L forced a punt and managed to score an insurance TD, needing eight plays to do so.
Among the key plays in that drive was a 12-yard run by Tvrdik, a 15-yard reception by Owen VanNewkirk and a six-yard run by Tvrdik. Tvrdik capped the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run on the right side. Carey slung the two-point conversion pass to Romig for the 27-13 lead with 3:20 remaining. Geneva had one more chance to score, but that ended when VanNewkirk recovered a fumble with 1:42 left in the game.
HF-L rolled up 328 yards of offense with 195 of that coming on the ground. The Cougars helped their cause by converting four-of-eight third downs.
“The last four games that we have been without Jack, most teams have anticipated us throwing the ball on third down, particularly in third-and-long situations,” coach John Russ said. “Geneva was not able to do that because we were running the ball so well.”
Carey completed 9-of-12 passes for 133 yards. Tvrdik rushed 15 times for 132 yards. Carey ran 16 times for 46 yards. Romig had two carries for 10 yards. Henry Millard gained seven yards on two carries. Childs caught four passes for 62 yards. Tvrdik made one reception for 31 yards, Selke two catches for 24 yards, VanNewkirk one catch for 15 yards and Romig one reception for one yard.
“In the first half, we ran the ball so well that, in the second quarter, Geneva began to bring the linebackers up to the line and brought one safety down to slow down our ground game,” Russ said. “We had to adjust to that and, as a result of Geneva trying to stop our rushing attack, that opened up our passing game. Dylan did a good job on his reads and making the throws while our receivers ran their correct routes and made the catches.”
Matt Worley led the defense with 11 tackles. Law Watts chipped in five tackles, Austin Hamilton five tackles, Chase Rorick four tackles, Tvrdik three tackles, VanNewkirk three tackles, two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery, Selke two tackles and an interception, Luke Kosciol two tackles, Carey one tackle, Romig one tackle and one interception, Childs one tackle and Shane Enright one tackle.
“Defensively, we gave up a couple of big plays, but for the most part we did not let break a lot of tackles,” Russ said. “Geneva put up a lot of points in their league, so our defense holding them to just 13 points was impressive.”
The Cougars take on #2 seed Livonia in a Class B semifinal on October 28 at 7 p.m. at Pittsford Sutherland High. The two schools have a lot of history as former rivals in the Livingston County League, but have not faced each other regularly since HF-L joined the Monroe County League. They last played each other in 2013 when the Cougars lost 28-7.
“They will give us a test defensively as they use a lot of different formations on offense,” Russ stated. “Offensively, we will need to keep them on their heels and have a good balance of running the ball and passing it.”