All Jeff Piscitelli needed was one play to decide the outcome of a football game.
Held to negative yardage through four quarters, Piscitelli scored from 10 yards out in overtime and Springville went on to an 8-0 victory over host Lackawanna in a Section VI Federation matchup of the co-No. 1 small schools in The Buffalo News poll.
A rain-soaked crowd of about 1,500 saw Springville (7-0, 6-0) capture the Division V title. Lackawanna (6-1, 5-1) suffered its first loss of the season, but is assured a spot in the playoffs.
On the first play in overtime, Piscitelli faked a handoff to the right, ran left around the end and dived across the goal line. Running back Mark Rendell (128 yards on 28 carries) scored easily on the two-point conversion run.
"We ran it (the bootleg) a couple of times earlier in the game, but we just couldn't get outside on them," said Piscitelli, a first-team All-Western New York defensive selection last season.
"I think they were waiting for us to pound the ball up the middle like we did all day. I came around the corner and saw the DB (defensive back) going back with the receiver. I just broke for the corner of the end zone and was lucky to get there."
Lackawanna's scoring chance came to an abrupt halt when fullback Terrance Ware fumbled on the first play and Axel Neff recovered for Springville.
"We knew Piscitelli was the guy we had to stop if we were going to win the game," Lackawanna coach Bill Moore said. "We shut him down pretty good, but he found a way to beat us anyway. I always said he's the best athlete in Western New York, and after today I think a lot more people will start believing that."
The bad weather made the water-logged ball hard to handle. Springville turned the ball over four times on fumbles. Lackawanna fumbled it away three times and was intercepted once.
Lackawanna had two great scoring opportunities in the first quarter. Linebacker Dave Yonkosky returned a fumble to Springville's 8-yard line, but 1,000-yard rusher Wade Turner (held to 4 yards on 11 carries) fumbled on the next play.
After another recovered fumble, the Steelers moved to the Springville 5, but the Griffins dropped Turner and quarterback Mike Haas for 9-yard losses each to end the threat.
"If we don't stop them down there, we probably would not have reached overtime," Springville coach Jim Duprey said. "Our defense has been playing super all year. We needed it today against a great offensive football team."