BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In the second game of the Section VI doubleheader on Friday night, Orchard Park and Lancaster meet for the second time this season in the AA Final.
“Oh man, this is going to be a big game, it’s like Ohio State vs. Michigan. These teams don’t like each other, the towns don’t like each other, the parents, it’s going to be a big game out there, you’re not going to want to miss this one,” Orchard Park receiver Michael Pataky said.
That’s the general consensus going into the AA Final between Orchard Park and Lancaster. It’s a match up that has had some history for as long as these athletes can remember, and it’s a match up the Legends wanted to play again this season.
“Now we get to play Orchard Park again, who we lost to by one point again, so it’s kind of worked out perfectly for us,” Lancaster head coach Eric Rupp said. “A lot of times you don’t get a second chance in life, but it’s worked out that we have that this Friday night.”
“This playoff actually worked out perfect for us, we got everybody we want. We wanted Clarence again because we dropped a heart breaker to them, executed and got the win against Clarence, we got it done,” Lancaster QB Jason Mansell said.
“Then going down to Jamestown, that’s even tougher with that two hour drive, but we didn’t let that distract us, we went down there and executed, and now we got Orchard Park again so if we come out, execute, get the win, we went through everybody.”
As excited as the Legends are to play this game again, the Quakers are equally as ready to get back out on the field to play Lancaster.
“It’s going to be a close game, dogfight from start to finish, we play them from whistle to whistle, nobody taking a play off,” Pataky said. “A lot of big hits, it’s going to be a big game, it’ll be a dogfight.”
“We have player for player, one of our players will match up with their players, it’s an even team, but it’s whoever will play as more of a family,” Orchard Park receiver Chad Gloss said.
“Whoever plays as a team more will come out victorious.”
On Friday, Orchard Park will return to New Era Field for the first time since Lancaster knocked them out of the playoffs in the 2016 Section VI Championship.
“Playing on this field, it’s a great honor to be on this field right now, we’re going to be playing for all of the alumni, guys that couldn’t make it to the stadium, we’re going to be playing for them tonight,” Pataky said.
As for Lancaster, though, this is the fourth year in a row the Legends have made it to New Era for the Class AA Championship. As the three-time reigning Section VI Champs, the seniors on this team have experienced first hand the AA domination that is Lancaster football.
“Some of our guys, like some seniors now and juniors now as well, were in the stands a few years ago watching those seniors play,” Lancaster receiver Ethan Jurkowski said. “Keeping in touch with those seniors, keeping the winning tradition and everything going like that, it’s just really cool. It’s a great thing, I think it’s just about keeping the culture, keep it building, keep building the culture and the winning tradition.”
“It’s a tribute to them. Those kids have bought in heart and soul, they work extremely hard, and we just try to go 1-0 each week,” Coach Rupp said. “We don’t talk a lot about championships, but it’s a tribute to the kids and all the hard work and effort they put in.”
Lancaster and Orchard Park play in the nightcap game at New Era Field on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 8 pm.