WNY Athletics

Hind, Randolph Run Over Franklinville/Ellicottville for Class D Championship

Randolph senior Xander Hind ran the ball 40 times against a hard-hitting Franklinville/Ellicottville defense on Thursday postgame he was feeling no pain.

Hind ran for 211 yards and four touchdowns and the Cardinals repeated as Class D Section VI champions with a 30-14 win over the Titans at Highmark Stadium.

“I’m not feeling anything right now, man,” Hind said. “The adrenaline’s kicking in. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up a little stuff but I’m feeling good right now. This was a great team win.”

The Cardinals took a 22-8 lead into halftime and then started the third quarter with a monster drive that chewed up the entire third quarter. The drive took 12 minutes, 50 seconds before Hind capped it with a three-yard touchdown run to seal the deal.

“It’s funny because when we played them in Week 3, we held the ball for 10 minutes (to start the second half) and then fumbled on the 15,” Randolph coach Brent Brown said. “We finished it off this time, which is awesome. When you’re playing defense, that’s like bleeding to death. It’s slow and it’s painful. We talked about it in the locker room, we needed one time-consuming drive to put it away.”

The championship is the second straight for Randolph, which ended a six-year drought last season. The Cardinals have won nine of the last 20 Class D titles.

Photo by Andrew Miller ([@Amm703 on Twitter](https://twitter.com/amm703))

Randolph will play Oakfield Alabama or Alexander in the Far West regionals next weekend. The Section V championship is at noon Saturday at SUNY Brockport.

The Cardinals dropped a 28-22 decision to Oakfield Alabama last year.

“We’re excited,” Hind said. “We played a super sloppy game last year, we weren’t prepared and we want revenge. We want them again.”

Hind scored on touchdown runs 6, 4, 54 and 3 yards in the win. He now has 2,058 yards on the season.

“The offensive line was going well for me,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more out of those boys today and my fullback (Payton Slade) played great too.”

Photo by Andrew Miller ([@Amm703 on Twitter](https://twitter.com/amm703))

Franklinville/Ellicottville opened with an impassive drive to start the game, capped by a 26-yard TD pass from Gian Nuzzo to a wide open Hunter Smith down the middle. But it was all Randolph from there.

Hind responded with a 7-yard TD to cut the gap to 8-6. He followed that with a short TD run and two-point conversion to put the Cardinals ahead to stay.

The win was the fourth straight for the Cardinals in the rivalry, including a 26-0 triumph in last year’s sectional championship game. The Titans last beat Randolph in the first round of the Spring 2021 playoffs.

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