ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two years ago, Franklinville-Ellicottville’s season ended in heartbreak at Highmark Stadium in the Class D Section VI Championship game. The Titans are back in the title game this year, but they have a tough test in Randolph.
The Cardinals have gone undefeated through the season and have been on a roll since Week 1.
“It feels great, it’s a pleasure to be here. Gotta come out with that victory, the job isn’t finished yet,” Franklinville-Ellicottville senior quarterback Lucas Marsh said.
“It feels good, there’s no better feeling than that,” Randolph junior running back Xander Hind said. “It’s what we’ve all dreamed of since we were in peewee, coming to this stadium to play, it’s awesome.”
The Titans come into championship game with a 7-2 record, with Randolph handing them their first loss in Week 2, 36-26. CSP beat FEville in Week 6, but the Titans got revenge in the Sectional semifinals last week with a gritty 6-3 win over the Wolfpack to advance to the title game.
“They like to pass a lot. We saw that in our first game, we struggled on pass defense in that game which led to them scoring high points,” Randolph junior tight end Jaiden Huntington said.
“Our pass defense is much better than when we played them the first time, so I think we should shut them down pretty good this time,” Hind said.
Randolph has rushed for 2,784 yards in the eight games they’ve played this season, and the Cardinal offense has certainly been a force to be reckoned with. Randolph averages 44 yards per game, and while their offense has been a highlight, their defense has also stood up to the task. The Cards have issued four shutouts this season, and only allow an average of 9 points per game.
When asked about what challenges the Cardinals pose, here’s what the Titans had to say:
“They’re physical, they like to run, they’re tough, they’re tough up front, they’ve got a tough running back. We gotta keep them in check,” Marsh said.
“Definitely their run game,” FEville senior wide receiver Logan Grinols said. “Their run game, and their offensive line is pretty big too.”
Randolph and Franklinville-Ellicottville kick off the Section VI Championship weekend on Friday. Kickoff is set for 5 pm at Highmark Stadium.