ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Class B Championship game on Saturday is a rematch of last spring’s Section VI title game featuring undefeated Iroquois and 8-2 Maritime/Health Sciences.
“It’s becoming a rivalry between us. It’s going to be a good game, they have a good quarterback that’s going to throw, and they have a lot of good receivers too, but our defense is going to lock it up and we’ll be ready,” Maritime/Health Sciences senior lineman David Wright said.
“They’re a great team. They run the ball really well, they do every little thing right as well so we have to play really well and I think that if we play our game, there’s a good shot that we win,” Iroquois senior quarterback Trey Kleitz said.
“They’re usually a rushing team, but watching film and breaking it down with the coaches, we see that they like to pass a lot. They got the scramble drill locked down down, so it’s going to be a test for us because a lot of teams in Class B mainly run, but I believe we got the DB’s and the guys to do it,” Maritime/Health Sciences senior wide receiver Addison Copeland said.
“We know they run the ball really well, so we’ve got to get our interior D-linemen going, all the backers just come downhill and be really aggressive,” Iroquois sophomore running back Trevor Barry said.
The game in the spring ended in a second straight Sectional title for the Falcons, and heartbreak for the Chiefs that they’ve used to fuel this team all season long. Coming up short to Maritime last season has driven Iroquois to a 10-0 record in which they have rushed for over 1,800 yards and thrown for over 2,200 yards.
“We’re definitely going to come after them hard. It was definitely a devastating loss last year, all the seniors, one of which was my brother, I knew a bunch of those guys, so it really stung to lose to them. We’re back this year and we’re definitely going to try to come out with the win,” Barry said.
“I think being a senior kind of helps with that, but I wouldn’t want to do it on any other team,” Kleitz said. “These guys, we did a lot of work in the offseason, even going back to that JV year going 1-7, to kind of see it come full circle is really awesome to see.”
Coming off back-to-back Section VI titles, Maritime/Health Sciences got off to a rocky start this season. After opening up the season with a pair of shutout losses to Bennett and Canisius, both of which are playing in their respective leagues championship games this weekend, the Falcons put together an 8-game winning streak in dominant fashion. Maritime scores an average of 39 points per game, while only giving up an average of 5 points per game. It’s those type of numbers that have advanced them to their third straight championship game.
“It’s exciting to go back for a three-peat, hopefully we’re able to do it,” Wright said. “It just shows the program we have, to be able to do it three years in a row with basically a whole new roster every year because we lose so many seniors, so it’s exciting and a good step in the right direction for our program.”
“It’s amazing. Our team went through a lot of ups and downs in the beginning of the season, and it tested a lot. Our loyalty to each other, how much we’re willing to play for each other, and it all came aligned,” Copeland said. “We’ve been playing like a family ever since those two losses.”
Maritime/Health Sciences and Iroquois meet in the Class B championship game yet again on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:15pm at Highmark Stadium.