DOLGEVILLE, NY– It was not an easy task on paper for Dolgeville on Saturday: win and not only do the Blue Devils get a share of the Class D East title, they would also all but guarantee their fans one more game at Bill Bynon Field.
With their loss to West Canada Valley last week, on paper, bouncing back to face the undefeated and state-ranked number six Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights (6-1, 6-1 D East) would be a tall task indeed.
That’s why they play football on the field and not on paper.
Chase Doxtader ran four four touchdowns, three of them in the first half, as the Blue Devils hammered Frankfort-Schuyler 62-23 on Saturday. With the win, Dolgeville has won a share of the Class D East title and will host a first-round game next weekend. The question of who Dolgeville will host will be answered at Sunday’s sectional meeting.
For Doxtader and the 14th ranked Blue Devils, bouncing back from a loss against their biggest rival came easy. “Everybody just found their heart,” Doxtader said.
For Dolgeville (6-1, 6-1 D East) head coach Dan Zilkowski, putting the loss to West Canada behind them was just as simple as getting the scouting report ready for Saturday. “I told them, week in, week out, we have to prepare for the next opponent,” Zilkowski said.
The Devils certainly looked prepared from the outset, as after a Frankfort-Schuyler punt gave Dolgeville possession near midfield, the Devils did what they do best: run the ball. Using a three-pronged attack of senior Cole Harlow and juniors Doxtader and Devin Gorinshek, Dolgeville took the ball to the 11-yard line before Doxtader took the ball in from there to give the Devils an early 8-0 lead.
When the Knights got the ball again on the next kickoff, the second verse looked almost exactly the same as the first. The Knights went three-and-out again, but the punt was a little bit shorter, giving the Devils a very short field to work with. However, with the running attack in full swing, the Devils used runs of five, four and 18 to get them back where they started. This time, however, it was Harlow getting the honors, running it in from 11 yards out to give the Devils a 16-0 lead.
The second quarter seemed to bring more of the same, as Doxtader would finish up the Devils’ third straight drive with a score. Doxtader’s run from five yards out gave Dolgeville a 22-0 lead and gave the fans wearing blue at Bill Bynon Field a new air of confidence that the game would be put away quickly.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, the game quickly turned on its ear, helped along by the Frankfort-Schuyler aerial attack. The kickoff was brought all the way down to the Dolgeville 11-yard line, and from there, senior quarterback Ethan Irons found DeVan Leon for a six yard score.
The Maroon Knights’ defense helped the game along too, forcing a fumble that again gave Frankfort-Schuyler good field position. Irons and Leon hooked up four times on the ensuing drive, using passes of 23, six, 15, and finally five to put the Maroon Knights within six at 22-16.
Irons and Leon weren’t done, however. After a short punt that gave Frankfort-Schuyler the ball at the Dolgeville 35-yard line, the senior and sophomore, respectively, went right back to work. Helped along by two personal fouls on the Blue Devils, Irons and Leon hooked up on an eight-yard touchdown pass in the middle of the end zone. Suddenly, the Knights found themselves on the right end of the ledger, leading 23-22 with the clock ticking toward halftime.
However, the Devils only needed two plays to alleviate the worry. Just before halftime, Doxtader took a pitch from quarterback and classmate Aasin Claus and broke a 61-yard run that gave the Devils a five-point lead again, at 28-23.
After the Blue Devils recovered the ensuing onside kick, the Blue Devils’ running game took the momentum into halftime. Using runs of 18, three, one and 15, Dolgeville was able to punch it in with something they had not done all game up to that point: the passing game. With 23 seconds left on the clock, Claus found Nick Bailey in the back of the end zone for the touchdown and the 38-23 lead going into halftime.
In all, 45 points were scored in the second quarter, 23 for Frankfort and 22 for Dolgeville. However, for Zilkowski, the first two quarters were a nail-biter for his Blue Devils. “It was a roller coaster in the first half,” Zilkowski said. “But I thought we had great momentum going into the second half. We executed well, we moved the ball around as best we could.”
It was clearer who had the momentum once the Devils received the second half kickoff. Aided by runs of 16, 15 and 12 from Doxtader, Gorinshek was able to get his first score of the game on a nine-yard run early in the third to take the wind out of the Maroon Knights’ sails for good.
After an interception by sophomore Zach Smith, Dolgeville went right back to work. Leaning more on Gorinshek and Harlow and helped along by a Frankfort-Schuyler unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Blue Devils scored again, this time on a Harlow run from a yard out.
The final score of the day came from—who else?–Simpson, this time on an option play from Claus from eight yards out. His dive for the end zone gave the Blue Devils a 62-23 lead and finally put the Maroon Knights away. From there, the Blue Devils were able to use the victory formation and relish the win.
For Maroon Knights head coach Jeff LaGase, the loss was disheartening, but his Frankfort-Schuyler team gave an admirable effort. “We played a very good team [today],” LaGase said. “Our kids have nothing to be ashamed of. They should be proud of their effort today.”
For Doxtader, it was just another day at the office for himself and the Blue Devils. “We got a little shaky [in the second quarter], Doxtader recalled, “but we came back and played Dolgeville football. Our guys up front, we told them what we had to do and they just destroyed them.”
Zilkowski was quick to praise LaGase’s program for their hard-fought battle. “It’s a class program,” Zilkowski said. “You can tell by the way the kids played today.”
For a program who uses the motto “Class always shows,” that is quite high praise indeed.
Dolgevillle Blue Devils 62, Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights 23
D 16 22 16 8 62
F-S 0 23 0 0 23
D- Chase Doxtader 11 yard run (Doxtader run), 6:45
D- Cole Harlow 11 yard run (Doxtader run), 2:46
D- Doxtader 5 yard run (pass failed), 9:19
F-S- DeVan Leon 6 yard pass from Ethan Irons (Jason Luther pass from E. Irons), 8:08
F-S- Leon 5 yard pass from E. Irons (Brandon Walker pass from E. Irons), 5:45
F-S- Leon 8 yard pass from E. Irons (John Banas kick), 2:19
D- Doxtader 61 yard run (Nick Bailey pass from Aasin Claus), 1:19
D- N. Bailey 16 yard pass from Claus (Doxtader run), :23
D- Devin Gorinshek 9 yard run (Doxtader run), 7:46
D- Harlow 1 yard run (Doxtader run), 2:22
D- Doxtader 8 yard run (Harlow run), 9:05