BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bennett Tigers are just a few days away from playing in the program’s first ever State Championship game on Saturday. After putting up a 38-0 shutout performance over Cicero-North Syracuse in the state semifinals this last weekend, Bennett comes into the Class AA title game with a vengeance, and also with a chip on their shoulder that they’ve kept there all season long.

“It was really more out of anger on the team. Not because of all the stuff that happened, but we realized that this is the hand we got dealt, and we’ve got to lock in and stay focused,” Bennett junior lineman Rashard Perry said. “Really we’re just out here playing to prove a point to people.”

“We like playing hungry, we like playing physical, we like playing bully football, and we just like to win,” Bennett junior receiver Jayden Lewis said.

“Many people may look down upon Bennett, but we’re still standing here strong,” Perry said.

“We just proved our point. To the whole state, whole Western New York, everybody. We just proved our point to everybody that we’re good, and we’ve made it to States trying to get a ring,” Bennett senior running back Dominac Allen said.

“I think it’s a combination of the 11 years of us being here. This is not only my program, it’s every kid that’s ever been through this program,” Bennett Head Coach Steven McDuffie said. “We have a saying, once a Tiger, always a Tiger, so even when you look around today and you see somebody like my son Isaiah on the field coaching the kids and you see Jordan Faizon and we have kids that come back that played every year that I was here. I think these kids that understand that they’re standing on everybody’s shoulders, and they want to give a good effort that everybody can be proud of.”

Bennett faces Carmel in the Class AA State Championship game on Saturday at 3 pm at the Syracuse Carrier Dome.