RANDOLPH — For two quarters, the Randolph football team had relative control.
And then by halftime … it didn’t.
Much as it did after the opening whistle, however, the Cardinals came out of the halftime gates strong. And behind the superb running of Xander Hind — and an equally stout run defense — they pulled out a roller-coaster ride of a win in a potentially pivotal Section 6 Class D matchup.
Hind had what might go down as one of the top individual efforts of the year, running an incredible 44 times for 330 yards and four touchdowns, and added three two-point conversion runs, to lead Randolph to a 36-26 victory over defending Class D champion Franklinville/Ellicottville in both teams’ league-opener Friday night.
Hind had TD scampers of 44, 25, 4 and 2 yards. Randolph held a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, but found itself trailing at the break (20-14) thanks to a trio of touchdown passes from Lucas Marsh — to Logan Grinols (60 yards), Blake Frank (29 yards) and Gian Nuzzo (10 yards). Hind added two more scores in the third quarter, however, as Randolph reclaimed the lead 30-20.
But just after it had again fallen behind by two scores, Beau Bielecki returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to the house to bring the Titans back to within 30-26 late in the third quarter. The Cardinals, though, clamped down in the final frame and Hind notched his final score with 5:11 remaining to put the game away.
The Cardinals (2-0) finished with 60 rushes for 390 rushing yards while limiting F/E (1-1) to just a single rushing yard on 12 carries. As a result, for the game, they outgained coach Jason Marsh’s team, 418-180.
Luke Pagett added 49 yards on nine carries while Carson Conley tallied the first TD of the game for the Cardinals, who avenged a pair of losses to F/E from last season. Marsh finished 11-of-21 for 179 yards and the three scores while Grinols caught three passes for 89 yards and Frank had four receptions for 43 yards.
SECTION 6 CLASS D
Clymer/Sherman/Panama 59, Cattaraugus-Little Valley 12
CATTARAUGUS — Trent Burchanowski ran seven times for 112 yards and four touchdowns and Clymer/Sherman/Panama built up a 32-6 halftime lead before cruising in its league opener.
Kurtis Olson completed 10-of-13 passes for 190 yards and three scores while Bryce Hinsdale caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown and Micah Willink hauled in three passes for 77 yards and a TD. TreyVon Kopta led C/S/P with seven tackles.
Christian Hines ran six times for 59 yards and TD jaunts of 10 and 60 yards for the Timberwolves (0-2). Hines scored midway through the second quarter to make it 19-6, but C/S/P tallied the next five touchdowns on either side of halftime to pull away. Josh Halterman completed 8-of-14 passes for 85 yards and Paul Tackentien led the defense with seven stops and Hines had four tackles.