Weekly Feature



2017-09-07 / Sports

Quakers fall to McKinley in opener

Sports Reporter
TAYLOR NIGRELLI


Griffin Harrigan of Orchard Park forces a fumble while bringing down Kaiyer Fields with some help from David Perkins. The Quakers lost the opener to the Macks, 25-7. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Griffin Harrigan of Orchard Park forces a fumble while bringing down Kaiyer Fields with some help from David Perkins. The Quakers lost the opener to the Macks, 25-7. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Orchard Park football got off to a rough start Friday. The Quakers fell at home, 25-7, to McKinley. The combination of turnovers and McKinley’s rushing attack proved too much to overcome for the Quakers. Orchard Park turned the ball over five times, including three interceptions. Additionally,

McKinley ran for 366 yards, 272 of which came from running back Kaiyer Fields on 23 carries.

“We had so many mistakes on offense and defense,”

Orchard Park coach Gene Tundo said. “We had five turnovers. don’t remember having more than three turnovers in a game in the last 35 years of coaching. If you have five turnovers, you’re not going to win a football game. I felt we didn’t really tackle great, and we missed the line a bunch of times. We fumbled inside the 3, inside the 13, and threw an interception when we were at the 4-yard line. We didn’t play very well. We made too many mistakes. Their running back rushed for more than 250 yards. He’s tough; he’s a good running back. He ran hard. There’s a lot of things that we didn’t do well. We just didn’t have a great day.”

The Quakers actually took the lead early in the game when sophomore quarterback Jack Sharp hit Nic Bruce for a 24-yard touchdown. A Brian Strybel point-after attempt gave the Quakers a 7-0 lead. Fields responded immediately with a 65-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven. The score would remain that way until the 7:18 mark of the third quarter when Troy Cable returned a Sharp interception back for a touchdown. With 7:46 left in the fourth quarter, Miles Haynes made it 19-7 with a 3-yard run. Fields put a bow on it with an 85-yard run with 1:04 left in the game.


Tristan Lancaster of Orchard Park lets a deep fade roll off his fingertips as Ahmen Lester of McKinley looks on. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Tristan Lancaster of Orchard Park lets a deep fade roll off his fingertips as Ahmen Lester of McKinley looks on. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Despite the lopsided final score, the Quakers were barely outgained by the Macks, 389-347. They had more first downs by a 19-14 margin, but McKinley won the turnover battle 5-1.

David Perkins rushed 28 times for 139 yards for the Quakers. Dylan Bieler had 30 yards on three carries. Bruce had six receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. Sharp was 12-25 with 183 yards in his first game on varsity.

“We just got worn down,” Tundo said. “We had five guys going a game and a half, playing full time on one side of the ball and half-time on the other. That’s hard to do. Our guys got beat up a little bit.”

If there is a bright side to the loss, it is that the loss came in a non-league contest. The Quakers will still go into next week with an unblemished record in league play and a better idea of what areas need improvement.

“We have to improve our pass protection,” Tundo said. “We just have to make better decisions on offense and hang onto the football. Eighty-five percent of the wins come when you win the turnover battle at every level. We have to do that. We have to have better ball security. We have to tackle a lot better and be in the right spots. We made a lot of mistakes. We have to get better on both sides of the ball.”

The Quakers will open league play when they play against Niagara-Wheatfield at home at 7 p.m. Friday. The Falcons have a potent offense and plenty of size.

“We have Niagara-Wheatfield,” Tundo said. “They scored 43 points in their first game. They’re big and strong. They have a good quarterback and good running backs. It’s a big game. It’s a league game. McKinley was a non-league game, but we need to learn from it.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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