WNY Athletics

Lancaster Defense Shuts Down OP Offense in Big Win Friday

If Lancaster was supposed to have a down year, the team obviously didn’t get the memo. Paced
by the two-headed rushing attack of Jacob Zimmerman and Micah Harry, the Legends took
down Section VI Class AA rival Orchard Park 28-6 in front of a packed Foyle-Kling Field.

Despite being undersized compared to the offensive and defensive lines of Orchard Park,
Lancaster used its speed and agility to take advantage of weaknesses on the Quakers.

“Our scout offense showed up and performed everything to a T, and perfected their offense,”
Zimmerman said of the preparation for the Orchard Park offense. “We were able to adapt to
what they were doing, and stop them.”

The Quakers started the game moving the ball downfield with ease, taking the first 7:33 off the
clock. When it looked like they were set to go down, the Legends defense came up big with one
of its eight sacks to force a turnover on downs.

“It was a really good gameplan by coach Mansell and coach Murphy,” Lancaster head coach
Eric Rupp said of a defense that held a high-powered Quakers offense to just 177 total yards,
and -1 yard rushing. “We’re not big up front, but we’re fast. We zone blitzed like crazy, and we
didn’t hide it.”

That blitz led to hit after hit on quarterback Ben Gocella. The Lancaster defense was able to
hold arguably the best QB in Western New York to just 180 yards on 18-of-30 passing with an

After getting the ball at its own 24 for its first drive, Lancaster marched down field on the back of
a 49-yard Harry run before Zimmerman punched it in from three yards out to go up 7-0. It was
the first of three Zimmerman touchdowns on the night to go along with his 72 yards rushing.
After another long drive resulted in no points, Orchard Park had a chance to get the ball deep in
Lancaster territory when the Legends chose to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own 21. The
Quakers would jump offside, giving Lancaster new life on the drive that would turn into another
seven points on the ground before the half.

The second half would begin the same way as the first ended. Lancaster drove right down field –
– albeit with help from a questionable pass interference on Orchard Park on a third and long — to
make it 21-0. That score ultimately took the wind out the Quakers’ sails.

Lancaster would score one more time in the 4th before Orchard Park finally got on the board
late in the 4th to avoid being shutout.

The Legends ended the game with 250 yards on the ground on 52 carries, and Zimmerman
couldn’t credit the offensive line enough for the team’s performance.

“I can’t thank my boys enough,” he said. “They’re big, they’re strong, and they put in the work.
They know what they’re doing.”

Lancaster’s next game sees them travel to Niagara Falls to take on the Wolverines. For Orchard
Park, it looks to get back to .500 when it faces Bennett.

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