Photo courtesy of Cal Phillips
The first half of the Class AA Section VI championship game was a nightmare for the Lancaster High School football team. The second half was, well, legendary.
The Legends won their fourth consecutive sectional championship with a come-from-behind 23-17 win over Orchard Park on Friday night at New Era Field.
“These kids just never quit,” Lancaster head coach Eric Rupp said. “The first half, nothing went our way. We kicked into high gear.”
Since Rupp took over as head coach for the 2016 season, the Legends are 37-3 – and all three losses were avenged that postseason.
Lancaster has won 11 straight Section VI playoff games.
“This is incredible,” said junior quarteback Jason Mansell, who broke his brother’s record with his 26th touchdown pass of the season. “Last year was special, this one is even more special. I’ve never been a part of a tighter group of guys right here. This is everything we’ve worked for.”
A 1-yard TD run by Cody Phillips with 51 seconds left in the game put the Legends ahead. That play was set up by a strip sack and fumble recovery by Ethan Jurkowski, who had three second-half interceptions in last season’s Section VI championship game.
Lancaster (8-2) fumbled three times in the first half and OP recovered them all – and then fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. But the tide turned from there and the Quakers turned it over three times in the second half.
OP’s season ends at 8-2.
Meanwhile in the Class B championship, Maritime Charter/Health Sciences capped its sudden rise to the top with a 34-20 win over Albion.
“I knew we were going to be better than last year but I didn’t think we were going to make it this far,” sophomore Addison Copeland said.
John Washington ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns, Maurice Vaughn ran for 89 yards and another TD and topped the 1,000-yard mark on the season for the Falcons (9-1). Copeland had a punt return for a TD and also ran one in.
Albion finishes this season 8-2 overall.